It turns out that sausage casserole isn’t the most photogenic of dishes. But what it lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up for in flavour and, as one of my favourite recipes, I should really have shared it with you years ago.
It’s a delicious easy weekend supper with minimal input needed for a fantastic result. Some chopping, browning of sausages and cooking of onions and chorizo is all that is required before throwing all of the remaining ingredients into the pan to cook slowly for an hour. Served with some crusty bread and a green salad this is my idea of perfect comfort food.
Sadly I can’t take all the credit for this one though. The recipe started off as Nigel Slater’s Sausages, Salami and Lentils from The Kitchen Diaries. Years of cooking this have resulted in a few tweaks though.
Firstly, I added beans as a way to make the meal go further (first year graduate salaries didn’t seem to go that far in London!!) but it turned out they were they were so good they never came back out again.
Extra onions and lentils bulked out the meal again for poverty stricken graduate reasons though, really, who can resist a slow cooked, deliciously silky onion? And these are no socks and sandles, bearded, vegetarian lentils. No no, these are man-friendly lentils flavoured with chorizo, garlic and sausages. Yum.
And finally the salami was swapped out in favour of chorizo. Any excuse to include chorizo in a dish and I will take it. I just love it’s smokey paprika flavour; so much tastier than salami in my opinion. The result is a crowd pleasing favourite that you’ll hopefully return to again and again like me.
Sausage, Lentil & Chorizo Casserole
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions
200g chorizo sausage
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
200g green lentils
3 bay leaves
1 400g tin beans – cannellini, flageolet, haricot, chick peas or black beans all work well
- Start by browning your sausages. Heat the oil in a medium casserole dish for which you have a lid over a medium to high heat. Add the sausages and brown for a couple of minutes on each side. They don’t need to be cooked through as they will cook in the casserole – you just need them nicely coloured at this point. Transfer to a plate.
- Meanwhile peel the onions, cut off both root and tip and then slice in half lengthways. Cut each half into 6 wedges. Peel the garlic and thinly slice. Remove the skin from the chorizo and cut into bite sized chunks.
- In the same pan you used to brown the sausages, add the onions and chorizo and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until the onions have softened, stirring frequently. Add the onion and cook for a further minute.
- Rinse the lentils under cold water then add to the pan along with the passata, water, drained beans, browned sausages and bay leaves, together with a good grind of black pepper. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring regularly. You should be left with a thick delicious casserole. If it’s looking dry during the cooking, add a touch more water.
You can make the casserole a couple of days in advance and keep covered in the fridge or alternatively it freezes well.