Friday, November 4, 2011

Sausages and Pumpkin and Lentils, Oh My!

Last year, my mum gave me a calendar she got from Sainsbury's (British supermarket), and each month has a different recipe. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but a couple of weeks ago I noticed the November recipe looked extremely amazing. The full title? Chunky sausage, pumpkin and lentil pot. Yes please!

The "before" shot
Since I saw that recipe I have been excited about trying it. Yesterday's experiment with making harissa paste was part of this bigger, sausagey picture. I even went out and bought a cast iron casserole dish for the occasion (although I plan to use it for more than just this one recipe!)

Veggie broth time
So today was the day. I made it earlier in the afternoon since I'd planned a much-needed trip to the gym for a 5:30 Zumba class and didn't think I'd want to cook once I got home. The recipe was actually very easy and didn't take much time at all. The most time-consuming part was peeling, deseeding and chopping the pumpkin.

Once I got to taste the deliciousness that was my dinner tonight, I was amazed that the dish could actually taste as good as I thought it would, if not better. I actually didn't have enough lentils as the recipe called for, so my version was a little more soupy, but no less awesome.

Yes, I took too many photos of this masterpiece
Since I'm trying to eat less meat, my bowl was mainly pumpkin and lentils. But trust me, there were a couple of rogue snausage sniblets in there! Ben was a lucky chap with a much more sausage-intensive bowl. We both loved it and the best part is that Ben has leftovers to eat for dinner tomorrow while I sushi it up with my book club buddies!

Please eat me!!!
Chunky Sausage, Pumpkin and Lentil Pot

1 tsp olive oil
4 Johnsonville original brats (or 2 packs British pork sausages)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs (700g) pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp harissa paste
2 cups (500ml) vegetable broth
8 oz (250g) dried green lentils
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 cup (200ml) water

Heat oil in a skillet and brown sausages. Remove, cut into chunks and return to skillet to brown cut edges. Set sausage chunks aside.

Sweat onions in a large casserole or Dutch oven for 10 minutes. Add garlic, pumpkin, bay leaf, thyme, harissa paste, broth, lentils, tomatoes and water; mix well.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, add the sausages and simmer uncovered for a further 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4-6 servings, depending on appetite.

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