Warming recipe: Braised lentils with sausages

Rachel Walker

This is proper home cooking. It’s cheap, it’s hearty and it feeds a crowd. It’s possible to braise the sausages by putting them in with the lardons to make a one-pot dish­—but cooking them separately encourages good colour and a lovely crispiness.

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 12 sausages
  • 100g lardons or diced pancetta
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300g puy lentils or lentils vertes
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon, squeezed
  • 100g kale To garnish: flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, for cooking the sausages later.
     
  2. Tip the lardons into a saucepan or casserole dish, and start to cook on a medium-high heat. When the fat begins to melt, add the additional tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 5–7 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic to the pan, and cook for 1–2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned.
     
  3. Stir the puy lentils through the vegetables, and add the sprig of rosemary to the pan. Cover with stock, bring to a rolling simmer, then drop the heat—so the water is just bubbling—and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
     
  4. Meanwhile, put the sausages on a lined baking tray, and cook according to pack instructions (usually 15 minutes).
     
  5. If the lentils start to dry out during cooking, add a splash of water. Don’t stir them too much during cooking—they shouldn’t be mushy, but tender with a bit of bite to them. Taste, and season with salt, pepper, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard and some lemon juice. Just before serving, add the kale to the lentils and stir gently.
     
  6. Divide the lentils between six shallow, heated bowls. Place the sausages on top, garnish with parsley and serve with lashings of mustard.