One Pot Sausages with Lentils Recipe
I have not been at home for this long since my maternity leave with George over 17 years ago. I’ve worked for the same company for 21 years so my life, during Lockdown, is a very different story. I actually have time on my hands. When my hands are not holding a gin and tonic I’m recipe testing, reading and today, steam cleaning the furniture. One of my favourite recipes to make at the mo is this brilliant One Pot Sausages with Lentils.
This dish ticks all the stay at home boxes. It’s store cupboard friendly, apart from the sausages which I ventured to the butchers to get, it’s comforting and as a total bonus, the whole bloody family inhaled it. Randomly, even fussy George loves lentils, and I had a whole bag just sitting in the cupboard waiting for some love. There is nothing complicated about this, it’s a one pot affair, if you discount the pot used to cook the lentils in first. I used some aging parsley I had in the back of my veg drawer, but you could flavour this dish with rosemary or thyme if your herb garden is not dried up and pathetic like mine. A huge virtual hug to Delia Smith for the inspiration for this dish.
My lovely Dad used to make a recipe similar to this for my Mum all the time. So not only is this simple, cheap and filling, it’s made with a lot of love and with him in mind.
Apart from my impressive butchers sausages, this doesn’t look like a terribly promising line up. But don’t panic, this dish is full flavoured, colourful and so delicious.
Make a start by cooking the lentils according to the instructions on the packet. I simmered mine for around 20 minutes; they need to still have a bit of bite, you don’t want mush. Once they’re ready, drain them, but reserve the cooking liquid *which looks like pond water* for later.
Pop these to one side for the moment, whilst you brown your sausages. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large lidded pan until it’s hot. Brown the sausages on both sides, this won’t take long, then remove to a plate.
On a side note, I’ve gone with 12 sausages to allow for 3 each, but if you’ve got smaller appetites, tone it down a little.
If needed, add another tablespoon of oil, turn the heat down, then add the chopped onion. Cook for a minute then add the garlic and cook both until they’re soft and translucent.
Tip in the tinned tomatoes, sugar, fresh herbs of your choice and bay leaves, stir, and bring up to the simmer. Cook for around 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Back to the herbs, I only had parsley to hand, not ideal, but it was fine.
Now, in with the cooked lentils and around 300ml of the reserved cooking liquid.
Return the browned sausages to the pan, mine was a bit of a squash with all 12 of them, then put a lid on and cook for around 30 minutes.
If the dish is looking too dry during this time, add a splash more of the reserved cooking water. This is ready when the sausages are cooked through and the lentils are tender and delicious. Have a bloody great mouthful then season accordingly with salt and pepper. Don’t forget to take out the bay leaves, I always do.
Garnish with some parsley or other such greenery, then serve, piping hot in huge bowlfuls.
Winter has returned today along with some last gasp April showers. This One Pot Sausages with Lentils may be just the lockdown comfort dish you need. Along with a hoofing great big glass of red wine for extra warmth *optional but almost essential in my mind*.
One Pot Sausages with Lentils Recipe
Serves 4, generously
You will just need a large lidded pan for this
300g green lentils, reserve the cooking water from these
A splash olive oil
12 good butchers sausages, I allowed 3 per person, your family may need less
1 onion, finely chopped
2 gloves garlic, finely chopped, or use a heaped teaspoon lazy garlic
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary, whatever you have to hand, plus extra to garnish
Salt and pepper
Make a start by cooking the lentils according to the instructions on the packet. I simmered mine for around 20 minutes. Drain them, but keep the cooking liquid.
In your large pan heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over a high heat. Add the sausages and cook for a couple of minutes or until brown on each side. Remove to a plate. Turn the heat down, add a splash more oil, if needed, then add the chopped onion. Cook for a minute then add the garlic and cook until both are just golden and soft.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, the bay leaves, chopped herb of your choice and sugar, stir, then let this simmer for around 5 minutes, or until it’s thickened.
Stir in the lentils with 300ml of the cooking water, stir, then add the browned sausages. Bring up to the simmer, put the lid on and cook for around 30 minutes. If the mixture looks dry or is sticking, add a little more of the lentil cooking liquid.
When the sausages are cooked through and the lentils soft and flavoursome the dish is ready. Remove the bay leaves, season generously with salt and pepper then serve, garnished with some more fresh herbs.