OK, so we know how much Germans like sausages. So we’d like to share one of our favourite winter warming stews with you. Tastes fab with crusty bread (if you can find any non-rye bread that is…) and is ridiculously easy to make (including making a big batch to freeze for later).
Technically, this is not a casserole because it is cooked in a pan, but I feel that it has earned its name as it produces the same warming effect, and in these achingly wintry times, that’s an asset. It also feels a little like a cassoulet (a slow-cooked southern French stew), only quicker and healthier, which is why I used Toulouse (the home of cassoulet) sausages, although any will do.
There are two kinds of chorizo: raw, for cooking, and cured, for eating as is. Most recipes specify one or t’other, but for this one you can use either. If using cured, try to get it in one piece from a deli, not sliced in a pack, and dice it yourself.
Takes 20 minutes to prepare, plus 30 minutes to cook
- 350g sausages, cut into 4cm pieces
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 fat carrot (around 200g), diced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a splash at the end
- 150g chorizo, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped.
- 3 rosemary sprigs, picked, washed and finely chopped
- 200g lentils (brown or green)
- 1 red chilli, whole
- 800ml chicken stock
Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan and brown the sausage chunks in it for few minutes, giving it the odd stir. Remove the sausage pieces with a slotted spoon and reserve, then toss the onion and carrot into the pan; give them a roll in the oil and stick a lid on.
After a few minutes, the onions will have started to soften. Add the chorizo, followed shortly by the garlic and rosemary. Give it all a brisk stir, then tip the sausage chunks back into the pan along with the lentils and mix it all thoroughly. Pour in the stock and lob in the chilli, bring to the boil and turn down to a gentle tick-tick simmer, until the lentils are cooked (about 25 minutes). Once the lentils are soft to bite, whack the heat up so the excess stock reduces down (about five minutes).
Allow to sit for another five minutes to settle down before tasting for salt. Serve with a splash of best extra virgin olive oil on top, and a chunk of crusty bread if you like your carbs.