Instructions: *Note: Dried black beans should be soaked overnight in cold water to cover.
Amount of Bucheron or Montrachet may be increased to 1-1/2 times amount given.
Drain the beans and put them in a 2-quart saucepan with the ham hock and fermented black beans. Add cold water to cover ingredients by 2 inches.
Bring the water to a boil, skimming of any froth that rises to the surface.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, until the beans are tender.
Remove and discard the ham hock. Reserve the beans and about 1 cup of the liquid, or enough to give the beans a stew like consistency.
Preheat the broiler.
Heat the butter in a large skillet. Add the fennel and cook over moderate heat, for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the beans, the bean liquid, the garlic, salsa and vinegar and stir. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spread the goat cheese on the bread slices. Place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, just until golden.
Taste the beans and adjust the seasonings if needed. Add the snails and cook for 5 minutes, until they are heated through. Remove the beans from the heat and stir in the roasted peppers.
Divide the ragout among 4 serving plates and sprinkle with cilantro. Place 2 cheese-topped croutons at the sides of each plate.
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