This is one of my favorite fall/winter dishes. I love lentils and they pair wonderfully with sausage! The idea for this recipe came from a cookbook called Easy Meals on a Budget. Yet again, I've changed and added a few things to make it a little more exciting!
No one complains when I say we are having lentils for dinner! I used canned lentils in this dish to make it go together quicker. You could substitute dried, but the dish will take a bit longer to prepare, and with two young kids in my house- the quicker the better!! I have also used red lentils in this dish in place of the brown, which also was delicious, but had a much more "mushy" consistency.
Hearty Lentils with Sausage
-serves 4 as a main dish-
1/2 Lb. Sausage, can be bulk, or links cut into rounds
(I used 3 Brat-sized links cut into rounds)
4 Slices thick cut Bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 15 oz. cans of lentils, drained
1/2 cup chopped Onion
1 minced Shallot
1/2 cup- 3/4 cup chopped Carrots
1 1/2 Cups Beef Broth
2 cloves of Garlic minced
1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
3/4 tsp. dried Thyme
In a large pot, cook your sausage and bacon. (Sometimes I'll crisp the bacon in the microwave and add it when I'm adding the lentils, it gives it a bit of a crunch that way.) Remove to a plate to drain on a paper towel.
In the same pot, melt a tablespoon of butter and a swirl of olive oil over medium low heat. Add your onions and carrots and seat until your onions are translucent. Add your garlic and shallot and saute for about a minute longer. Add your tomato paste and beef stock. Stir until well combined. Start adding the rest of your ingredients, drained lentils, red wine vinegar, smoked paprika, and thyme. Mix in your bacon and sausage. Move the heat up to medium and heat until lentils are heated through, and the sauce has thickened to your liking. Salt and Pepper to taste. If needed, you can always add a tad more tomato paste to thicken, or more beef stock to loosen!
I usually serve this with crusty bread for a great hearty meal.