Stews tend to be considered winter foods, the dishes we eat to make us feel warm and cozy when there are strong winds blowing at the windowpane, or snow is settling in the streets or dark gray skies descend upon us. But this one pot wonder is appropriate all year round, packed with flavour and easy to prepare; it is ideal for families or couples on the go who may need some leftovers to warm up during a hectic week.
Apparently ancient Egyptians might have considered lentils an aphrodisiac, they may have had a point because this lentil stew satisfies the man who needs a filling meaty plate and also has a complexity of flavours us women will appreciate lol! Gender jokes aside lentils have great nutritional value, some consider it the “perfect food” and has be linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, they are high in iron making it great for those like myself with anaemia, pregnant women will benefit from the folic acid and we all can appreciate the value in its high protein content with almost no fat.
Lentils and I have an interesting relationship they are never my go-to ingredient and I never get a lentil craving but whenever I eat this stew I am always left more than satisfied. I believe lentils are at risk of being undercooked, which makes them feel chalky in my mouth, but when this hearty dish is executed properly it has an earthy texture balanced with the deep notes of red wine. Obviously we know that when we are cooking we should always taste as we go but I confess that sometimes I rely on my other senses more than perhaps I should, however with this spicy sausage and lentil stew it requires that you taste, taste, taste, this combined with patience ensures success.
Tell me what you think.
Live, Love, Eat!
- 2-3 large smoked sausages, chopped into 1” chunks
- 1 cup of lentils
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 chilli pepper, seeds removed and chopped finely
- ½ glass red wine
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 pint of hot beef or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large deep saucepan over a medium heat before adding the onion, garlic, chilli pepper if using, until they have softened (about 3 mins).
- Add sausages and fry until browned all over. Then add the lentils and fry for a further two minutes before adding the wine. Once the smell of alcohol has evaporated, add the stock, stir in the mustard and simmer uncovered for 15-20 mins or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, mix in the parsley and serve up piping hot in a big bowl with two glasses of red wine. Enjoy!
- I used Merlot but any red wine you like will work.