For my whole childhood Sausages were always on the table when i went round to friends houses. Complete with McCains chips and mushy peas, as far as i can recall it was almost always Sausages, Fish Fingers or Chicken Goujons on offer in one form of another.
Regrettably for me and much to the detriment of my childhood, this type of ‘kids food’ was never on offer in our house. My mother claims it is because she didn’t like feeding us processed stuff but it was really that she couldn’t be bothered to cook two meals, quite rightly so. Perhaps that is why, at the age of 9, I could punchily challenge my parent’s friends, and indeed any adult i came across, as to why it was that Osso Bucco was ‘so much more flavoursome’ then Stewing Steak or Shin of Beef, – declaring it as if my tastebuds at this point were far excelled beyond the expertise of most normal children of my age, who would have been more apt to distinguish why Heinz Tomato Ketchup was better then Saino’s own (such knowledge only came to me in my university days.)
Because Sausages were only ever eaten outside of home, until my bro and i got older, I was never really a fan of them (apart from Hotdogs, which is to this day my favourite food – i am talking good quality Sausages in a bun – no Walls knock offs) as an ingredient until later when I got round to playing around with them in the kitchen. No pun intended.
One of the first dishes i made was a Sausage and Lentil hotpot, and i loved it. As far as im concerned the Lentil and Sausage combo is as much of a match as our very British Sausage and Mash and the German’s Bratwurst and its crunchy white French Roll.
The Lentils do such a good job of soaking up the flavour of the meat and have that added bonus of being delicious when served hot, or cold as leftovers the next day. This particular dish is a Tess creation and is a combination between a hotpot and a hot salad. It has the same rich flavour of the hotpot but with less of the liquid. It also has the addition of Feta, to add a salty burst of flavour and Parsley and Lemon for freshness and zing. If you don’t like Lentils then you could opt for x2 tins of White Beans. This will make the dish into more of a French-style cassoulet.
- 8 Good quality Pork Sausages
- 150g dried Puy Lentils
- 1 Chicken Stock Cube
- 1 small Red Onion, chopped
- 1 medium Carrot, finely diced
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
- 30g Feta Cheese (or a crumbly Cheese)
- 1 tbs fresh Parsley, chopped
- 1/2 Lemon, juice
- Olive Oil
Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and fry for 5 minutes or so, until the onions softens.
Add the lentils to a sieve and rinse under a cold tap, before adding to the pan with the onions. Cover the lentils with just under a litre of water, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the lentils for 25 mins, or until tender, with the lid of the saucepan on.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and add the sausages. Fry them for 5-10 mins, until golden on all sides.
Squish the clove of garlic with the side of your knife, roughly chop and add it to the pan, with the frying sausages.
Cook for a further 2 minutes then add the cooked lentils and stock cube to the pan, with a pinch chilli and an extra 100ml of water. Cover with the pan lid and cook for 15mins.
Once the sausages are cooked check the amount of liquid in the pot. If there is a lot, mash a corner to soak up the rich, meaty juices. Keep the pot of a low heat until it is the desired consistency.
Before serving scatter over the fresh parsley and feta and squeeze over the lemon juice.