Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention. This recipe was invented because of the boxing day excessive quantities of garlicky sausages due to my family cassoulet for 24 being cancelled. It's a long story, take a look at my post for the Britmums site.
Anyway, however much I love cassoulet, man (or woman) cannot live by cassoulet alone.
Slow Cooked Sausage and Lentil Stew - made at least 7 adult portions, freezes well
8 (approximately 700g) garlicky sausages, I used Grasmere Farm "Rutland"
1 medium sized Onion
1 medium sized Carrot
1 stick of Celery
300g, 10oz Green lentils
150g, 5oz Belly pork (remove rind and cut into small pieces)
2 tsp Olive oil
A few sprigs of thyme
A bay leaf (fresh or dried)
Parsley to serve
Pour a good quantity of boiling water over the green lentils, bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes.
Cut the belly pork into very small pieces and fry in 1tsp olive oil until browned. Put into the slow cooker. Brown the sausages and do the same.
Add the onions, carrots (finely diced) and celery to the frying pan with the remaining olive oil and fry until starting to brown. Add to the slow cooker.
Add the thyme and bay leaf.
Once the lentils have boiled, drain and add to the slow cooker with 350ml, 12 fl oz Boiling water.
Cook on high for about 2-3 hours (depending on how fierce your slow cooker is, some are more gentle than others) or until the lentils and sausages are cooked and the vegetables are softened. Remove the bay leaf and serve sprinked with parsley if liked and with garlic bread on the side.
My normally sausage obsessed son decided he liked the lentils best last time he had this and barely touched the sausages! That's toddlers for you, just when you think you know them... The lentils are delicious though.
It freezes and reheats well although the lentils do lose a bit of structure, that's no bad thing. If you have very little ones, it would be a great "soft lumps" food to give them some of the herby lentils building up to having a bit of sausage as they're older and can deal with more texture.