Apple cider sausage and lentils is a simple, rustic dish that is pure hygge on a winter night.
This has been an amazingly tiring couple of weeks with work. Anyone who is a teacher can probably appreciate this, especially anyone who also holds some leadership roles, but there have more than a couple of 12+hour days of work. Nonetheless, the week is done, and the weekend beckons. Weekends have clearly turned into my days of cooking, and last weekend was no exception.
On Saturday, D and I took full advantage of a beautiful fall day to go for a walk. Luckily for us, there is Wrest Park which is a great old estate near our house that is perfect for walking. One of the great benefits of the UK is that houses like this (although not always as grand) are dotted around the place. (check out English Heritage or National Trust to find out more).
Coming back to the house, we were both in the mood for comfort food. To use the now trendy term, we wanted some ‘hygge’ food. Something we could enjoy and then relax for the evening. Now, a couple of weeks ago I told Rachel (A Beer Girl Cooks) that I would post a bit more about using beer/cider with food, so here we go! For this relaxing meal, we turned to a dish I first made years ago; Apple cider sausage and lentils.
Apple cider sausage and lentils is a great little one-pot dish. All it requires is a good quality cast iron casserole dish, or at least a big pot. First you fry some top quality sausages. These aren’t your run of the mill breakfast sausages, you need some big ones. We went for some juicy all pork ones. After removing these from the pan, you fry some bacon, onion, garlic and carrot. Then you tip in the lentils.
A little word of caution though, these are not your average red or green lentils. These are puy lentils (or lentils verte). They are slightly bigger, and hold their shape a lot better. However, they need to be cooked longer. So, you tip them in the pan, stir to coat and hit them with ½ bottle of apple cider. Then, and this is important, drink the rest of the bottle. I used a good dry cider, very tasty. Let it boil for about 5min, and then top up with some chicken stock. Just before the lentils are down, place the sausages back in. Lid on, cook for 5min.
Place the lentils in a bowl first, with sausages on top. Try to get a bit of everything on your fork. Get a good chunk of bread to help soak up the cider liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Apple cider sausages and lentils, pure hygge and deliciousness in one.
Also, I’ve added this to FiestaFriday! Quality recipe ideas every Friday!
We had this with some delicious English cider, Aspall Cider to be exact. Worth the taste.
This was ‘wind down from your hike’ food, and ‘get ready to relax’ food. Sticking with the hygge theme, on D’s iPhone we had To Build a House by The Cinematic Orchestra playing, matched the mood well.
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Apple cider sausage and lentils
- 4-6 Good quality pork sausages. Such as cumberland sausages
- 1 Chopped carrots
- 1 small brown onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1 cup of Puy Lentils
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 bay leaf
- 125 g bacon lardons
- 1 Tbs chopped parsley
- 1 Tbs chopped thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the sausages in a deep frying pan, until nice and golden and cooked throughout. Remove from the pan, and wipe out.
- Fry the bacon, until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, take the bacon out. Drain the grease, but leave about 1TB in the pan.
- Heat the pan again and add the garlic, onion and carrots. Fry for about 5min, then add the bay and lentils. Stir to coat, then add the cider. Let it boil, and add the stock. Lid on, and let it cook for 20min.
- After 20min, add the sausages and herbs to the pot. Lid back on and cook for 5 more minutes. The lentils should be cooked, but have a little bite to them. Season with salt and pepper and remove the the bay. Plate the lentils with sausages placed on top. Drizzle a bit of the leftover juices on top, and serve hot.