food with sam man­ner­ing

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - THE GRILL - Pho­to­graph Styling/ Sam Man­ner­ing

A heart­warm­ing dish of sausages and lentils is made all the more sat­is­fy­ing by the min­i­mal wash­ing up after­wards.

This is al­most a lazy cas­soulet, but prob­a­bly more Ital­ian than French. It’s not the sort of ar­gu­ment I’d want to start, re­gard­less. You could re­place the lentils for hari­cot beans if you’re feel­ing more au­then­tic. There is some­thing quite heart­warm­ing about cre­at­ing a dish like this, the way it be­gins and ends in the same pot. It’s all too sat­is­fy­ing, es­pe­cially when you’re like me and hate wash­ing up.

I have a love af­fair with Puy lentils; I find them in­nately com­fort­ing. The bet­ter the sausages, the bet­ter the end re­sult. Funny that. Look out for L’Authen­tique – they do a su­perb range of proper, no-non­sense snarlers (beef, pork, Toulouse, and so on) – they’re stun­ning.


Prep time: 15 mins / Cook time: 1 hour Serves: 4 Olive oil 4 cloves gar­lic, sliced 1 onion, peeled and sliced 3 bay leaves Cou­ple of sprigs of rose­mary 50g pro­sciutto or streaky ba­con, roughly chopped 450g good beef or pork sausages (see above) 150ml red wine 450g tin cherry toma­toes ½ tsp chilli flakes 300g dried Puy or green lentils, rinsed 600ml good beef or chicken stock Salt and pep­per In a large, lid­ded, flame­proof casse­role over a mod­er­ate heat, add a lit­tle olive oil and al­low it to heat up be­fore adding the gar­lic, onion, bay and rose­mary. Cook gen­tly for sev­eral min­utes un­til onion is soft and translu­cent, then add the pro­sciutto or ba­con and con­tinue to cook for 2-3 more min­utes un­til it is crisp and the fat has melted down. In the mean­time, heat a fry­ing pan over a mod­er­ate heat, add a bit of oil and quickly fry the sausages un­til they are nicely browned on the out­side. Add them to the onion mix­ture and bring up the heat a lit­tle. Pour in the red wine and let it bub­ble up and re­duce a bit be­fore adding the cherry toma­toes, chilli flakes, lentils, stock and a bit of salt and pep­per. Give every­thing a good stir and leave to sim­mer with the lid on for about 45 min­utes, un­til the lentils are ten­der. There shouldn’t be much liq­uid left but, if it seems a bit too runny, con­tinue to sim­mer for 5 min­utes or so with the lid off.

Serve im­me­di­ately, with a gutsy red and per­haps some good bread on the side to mop up the sauce.

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