Do try to get your hands on some good-quality sausages for this dish and make sure to use Puy lentils as they hold their shape far better than other varieties.
This sausage and lentil stew is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, but is still warm and comforting enough to snaffle from a bowl in front of the TV.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6–8 large pork sausages
- 150 g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
- 3 tsp tomato purée
- 3 tsp Dijon mustard
- 75 ml red wine
- 300 g Puy lentils
- A few thyme sprigs
- 500 ml chicken stock
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Heat the oil in a large high-sided frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sausages and brown them on all sides. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside, then add the pancetta or bacon with the carrot, onion and celery and fry until the bacon is sizzling. Stir through the tomato purée, Dijon mustard and red wine.
2. Add the lentils, thyme and stock, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and bring to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes then add the sausages, nuzzling them among the lentils.
3. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add a splash of water to the pan if it begins to look a little dry before the lentils are cooked. Carry the pot straight to the table and serve on warmed plates.