This heart warmer uses a store cupboard ingredient with a long shelf life and a multitude of uses. They also go a very long way, puy lentils! This casserole is so easy to prep ahead and so satisfying with hunks of warm buttered bread.
8 Venison sausages (you can substitute these for pork if you like)
165g puy lentils, rinse and drained
500ml chicken stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic preserve (or good quality balsamic vinegar)
1 small glass of red wine
Half an onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove crushed to a paste
2 large roasted red peppers from a jar, thickly sliced
2 tbsp chopped parsley stalks
2 tbps chopped curly parsley leaves
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 160°c.
Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and brown the sausages in olive oil until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Using the same pan add a touch more olive oil if necessary and add the onion, garlic, parsley stalks and butter. Stir for 4-5 minutes until the onion is softened, being careful not to burn it. Add the tomatoes, season and mix well.
Transfer the tomato sauce to an ovenproof casserole dish along with the lentils and browned sausages. Place the frying pan over a high heat and add the balsamic vinegar and wine, deglaze the pan and reduce the wine by 1 third before adding into the casserole. Add the chicken stock to the casserole and mix well.
Place the lid on the casserole and pop it into the pre-heated oven for 1 hour. When it’s ready, remove the lid and season the casserole to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve in bowls with chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.