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Sausage and lentil casserole

Serves 4

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 venison sausages
  • 4 slices of smoked bacon, loin meat only
  • 8 medium shallots, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 250g Puy or green lentils
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 300ml port
  • 1 pint fresh chicken stock
  • 1 tsp redcurrant jelly
  • ½ a small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

How to make sausage and lentil casserole

  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole pan. Throw the sausages in and brown them all over. Remove from the pan then add in the bacon.
  2. Fry the bacon for a minute or two, then throw in the shallots and garlic. Fry for about 5 minutes or until the bacon is golden and becoming crisp and the shallots, carrots and garlic cloves have some colour.
  3. For the last minute of cooking add in the chilli flakes, herbs and juniper berries. Add the tomato puree and cook for a further minute.
  4. Pour in the lentils so they can infuse in all of the flavours, then cover with the port and stock.
  5. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  6. Add the sausages back to the pan cover with a lid and let it simmer away for 30 minutes or until the lentils have drunk up most of the stock and have left a rich sauce.
  7. Stir in the redcurrant jelly and serve sprinkled with parsley.