Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Sausages with Puy Lentils
I adore lentils and without a doubt puy lentils are the king of them all. These little green / slate grey mottled gems from Le Puy region in France are slightly peppery but the best bit from a cook’s point of view is that they keep their shape during cooking and don’t turn to mush like other types of lentils do.
My lovely Wife is not as keen on lentils as I am so we don’t have them at home nearly as often as I would like. This particular recipe is a man’s dish, all meat and mustard and quite strong flavours, but it is so easy to cook, all in one pot too, that I urge you to give it a go.
Ingredients (serves TWO)
160g puy lentils
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 onion, chopped fine
1 red pepper cut into thick strips
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
4 good sized sausages, (maybe a good chunky meaty one like Cumberland, or a spicy one like Toulouse. Don't skimp here, buy the best quality you can)
300ml chicken stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50ml red wine
1 heaped tsp grain mustard
2 tsp tomato puree
50g button mushrooms, sliced thinly (or for a stronger flavour use some dried porcini mushrooms soaked in boiling water and also chuck in 2 tbsp of the soaking water as well)
2 tsp Worcester sauce
2 tsp plain flour
1 small handful fresh flat leaf parsley chopped fine
I quite often make this with boerwors sausages from South Africa. I find that these sausages can be quite dry if you grill or BBQ them so this dish is perfect as it sort of steams them during the cooking and they remain meaty and moist.
In a heavy casserole dish heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and throw in the sausages. Cook them for only a short time to brown the skin and remove. Turn the heat down to medium/low and add the carrot, onion, garlic, red pepper. Stir around for about 8-10 minutes until the onions have softened and the bottom of the pan and the juices are turning a light golden brown.
Spoon in the flour, cook for a short time, keep stirring to avoid it catching and then throw in all the rest of the ingredients except the parsley. Give it all a good stir, place the browned sausages on top.
Put a lid on the casserole dish and put into preheated oven (200C/400F) for no more than 40 minutes. Probably 30 mins will be enough.
You will be left with a thick, fragrant stew of lentils and vegetables and it really does taste fabulous. It is the perfect dish for a cold, dark winters’ night in front of a roaring log fire, just the sort of thing we need here in Dubai.
Stir in the chopped parsley and serve immediately in shallow bowls with a good dollop of strong English mustard on the side. Lots of crusty bread, a big glass of teeth staining deep red wine and you are in for a real treat!