6-8 thick pork sausages (I used Cumberland)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
100 grams bacon, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine, optional
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup Puy lentils, rinsed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Dijon mustard and salsa verde
Lentils: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the bacon, onion, carrots, fennel, bay leaves and garlic. Season then cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the wine if using and let it bubble up until most of it has evaporated.
Add the stock and lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until the lentils are just cooked and still a little soupy.
Sausages: Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the sausages until golden and cooked through.
To serve: Add the parsley to the lentils and divide between shallow dishes. Cut the sausages in half and place on top. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds and serve with the mustard and salsa verde.
Puy lentils: these small slate-green lentils have a delicate blue marbling. They are considered by many to be the best lentil because of their unique peppery flavour and the fact they hold their shape during cooking. They’re the only lentil to be identified by area of cultivation - grown in the Le Puy region of France.