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Lincolnshire Sausages with Lentils

Preparation time : 15 minutes,
Soaking Time : 3 - 12 hours Cooking Time : 1 1/2 hours,
Oven : Preheat to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4),
Calories per serving: 680

ingredients

serves 4
1 lb (450 g) Lincolnshire sausages
12 oz (350 g) green lentils
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
4 medium onions
1 large clove garlic
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 pints (1.1 litres) light vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Put the lentils in a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for at least 3 hours.

2. Cut the rinds off the bacon and put them in a flameproof casserole over a high heat until some of the fat has melted. Keeping this fat in the casserole, discard the rinds.

3. Chop up the bacon and quickly fry it in the fat for 5 minutes.

4. Peel and quarter the onions and crush the garlic. Reduce the heat, add the oil, onions and garlic, and cook gently for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils and bay leaves and toss them lightly in the oil. Then pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Cover the casserole with a lid and put into the oven for 1 hour.

5. Lightly brown the sausages in a nonstick frying pan (this is not to cook them, but just to make them look more appetising). Stir the casserole contents well, then bury the sausages in the dish.

6. Cover the dish again and replace in the oven for a further 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and, if the dish is becoming too dry, add an additional 1/4 pint (150 ml) of stock or water. Taste, and season before serving.

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