In case you hadn’t noticed, I am on a bit of a one pot blitz at the moment. It is getting much cooler here in Australia and the weather is lending itself to lovely one pot casseroles. One pot meals are my absolute favourites as I am not very good at finding the motivation to make tasty side dishes.
And since making this red lentil curry, I have become a bit of a lentil fan. I am not sure where I got the idea that they had to soak overnight before cooking from but I did think that and was always put off using the lentils for that reason. The soaking overnight does apply to dried beans but not to lentils. Lentils are such a great ingredient to use – not only are they pretty healthy with lots of nutrients and fibre packed in to them but they are also generally pretty cheap to buy. A bag will go a long way! Plus they taste great – warming and hearty. Perfect for a Canberra winter.
Lentils also have the added bonus of sucking up a lot of the flavour if cooked with other food. For this recipe for a red lentil and sausage casserole I have gone with pretty traditional flavours starting with some garlic and onion with bacon thrown in for good measures. I used portobello and shitake mushrooms as I had those in the fridge. Other mushrooms like swiss brown would work – just add a few more if using smaller mushrooms. You do want to use the more meaty mushrooms if that makes sense.
This is such an easy recipe to make. You do need to keep a bit of an eye on the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil dry and it needs a stir every now and again to stop things sticking. I know some people will probably think I overcook my lentils but for this dish I wanted them lovely and soft. If you like your lentils a bit firmer then just cook the sausages a bit more before you add in the stock and lentils. The main thing is to make sure the sausages are cooked through.
The other trick with making this recipe is getting the stock right. Growing up, Womens’ Weekly cook books were the go to cook book at our house and I suspect many houses in Australia. They have more competition now and one of their selling points is that their recipes are triple tested. I don’t always manage triple tested before sharing a recipe but I cook it at least twice depending on how well it works the first couple of times. For this recipe I did try it three times and each time was quite different and the only thing that changed was the stock cube I used to make my stock (sorry no real stock in my house). The first time I used a massel fake chicken stock cube and that gave the best result. I used a chicken oxo cube the second time around and that was a bit strong and the dish came out a bit salty. Because of this I used a massel reduced salt fake chicken stock cube and that was just a bit too bland. I think oxo are well known for having a bit more of an intense flavour so I think if you could for a normal stock cube or even the liquid stock you should be fine.
Add bonus is that this only has about 390 calories.
Would love to hear if you make this recipe. If you do make it, take a photo and share it on Instagram with the hashtag shrinkingsingle.
- Olive oil spray
- 1 pork sausage (about 90g)
- 1/4 a brown onion, diced
- 1 tsp of minced garlic (equal to one clove)
- 1/3 cup of red lentils
- 1 - 1 and 1/4 cup of chicken stock
- 30g of bacon, diced (about two shortcut rashers)
- 1-2 large mushrooms (eg. portobello or shitake)
- Heat a small to medium frypan (skillet) on a medium to medium-high heat (I used an electric stove on a setting of 4 out of 6)
- Spray with olive oil
- Add the bacon, garlic and onion and fry until bacon is starting to crisp (about 4-5 minutes)
- Add the sausage and mushroom and brown the sausages, about 5 minutes
- If there are some brown bits on the bottom of the pan, add about a quarter of cup of chicken stock and deglaze the pan. Then add the rest of the stock and the lentils.
- Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the lentils and sausage are cooked. Stir occasionally to make sure things don't stick.