Disclaimer: The egg in the photograph to the left looks more like a fried egg rather than poached. It is, in fact, poached. I deliberately removed it before it was completely set as I preferred the look of it for the photo. Please don’t do this for your meal. Instead, spoon stock over the top or flip it over to ensure that the egg is fully cooked. Unfortunately, very few of us have the luxury of cooking with fresh eggs that have been laid same day.
In my local supermarket they sell Puy lentils as green lentils. That’s because they haven’t been grown within the Le Puy region of France. Like Parmesan cheese, it can only be called Parmigiano-Reggiano if it’s produced in specific areas in Italy.
The difference between Puy and green lentils: Puy lentils are always smaller and marbled in colour. For me, they also have more flavour.
Puy Lentils with Sausages
- 450ml (0.95 pt US Liq) water
- 1 x chicken stock cube
- 3 x celery stalks, washed and chopped into pieces
- 2 x carrots, peeled and chopped into pieces
- 1 x small onion, peeled, topped & tailed, sliced into 4
- 1 x large dried bay leaf or 2 x small
- 2 x whole cloves
- 1 x sprig fresh thyme
- 2 x garlic cloves, root end sliced off
- sausages, 2 per person. In the photograph above I’ve used traditionally made Cumberland
- 1 x medium onion, peeled, halved, and roughly chopped
- large pinch chilli powder/flakes
- 80g (2.8 oz) Puy lentils, washed
- 350 – 400g (12.3 – 14.1 oz) salad potatoes, scrubbed and halved if small, cut into 4 if larger
- 2 x organic eggs – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Measure out 450ml of water and pour into a large saucepan. Start prepping the vegetables and, when ready, add the chicken stock cube, celery, carrots, onion, garlic cloves, whole cloves along with the dried bay leaf, and thyme.
- Prep onions and add to heavy-based pan with a little oil. Allow to caramelise for 20 minutes at electric heat No 2 (out of 6). Add garlic, and turn heat down to No 1. Continue to cook for a further 10, stirring through the occasional time. At the end of cooking time sprinkle over the chilli, adding enough to personal taste.
- Put Puy lentils in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain into a colander, cool with cold water and set aside.
- Pan-fry sausages until nicely browned on all sides.
- When stock has poached sufficiently strain through a metal colander into a suitable bowl. Retain the bay leaf and garlic cloves.
- Return stock to same saucepan, prep the potatoes and add them to the stock, along with the bay leaf and shelled garlick cloves. Bring to a boil, add the partially cooked Puy lentils, then simmer at heat No 2, with a lid, until potatoes are cooked.
- Pour in some of the stock to the caramelised onions, swirl its saucepan a little, then pour into larger saucepan with potatoes and lentils.
- If serving with a poached egg then carefully crack one per person into the stock. It might be necessary to make a depression deep enough to hold the egg(s). Simmer until set, then either spoon stock over the egg(s) to fully cook or simply flip them over.
Does anyone not know how to fry sausages? Maybe…
Add a little oil to a shallow pan, place the sausages in and cook on low heat. Well, that’s how I do mine, as it’s the only way to get them evenly brown on all sides. It’s also a good way of reducing the fat content. In the photo above I’ve used traditionally made Cumberland as I like their spiciness with the lentils. My preferred way of cooking sausages is to roast them in the oven. Although, I haven’t roasted them using my electric cooker as yet. Here I’ll give times for gas: add a little oil to a casserole lid or suitably small roasting tin. Place the sausages in, turn them over to coat with oil, place on a high shelf (not the top one but the one below) in a pre-heated oven at gas No 7 to begin with, for about 10 – 15 minutes. Lower heat to around No 6 and continue to cook. Turn the sausages over every 10 – 15 minutes until they’re beautifully golden brown all over. Mine used to take about 50 minutes in total. Please note that I was roasting traditionally made sausages. Cheap bangers would take less time. Why roast? The fat permeates the meat much slower, leaving the meat more flavoursome and moist and the sausage much lower in fat content. Delicious!
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