This recipe is from Antonio Carluccio's new book Simple Cooking which I've recently reviewed here. This was the first thing I cooked from it and having had so much fun making it, I think it deserves a post all of its own. You really must try this!
Making sausages sounds quite difficult and it is really. I've had a few punts at it, grappling round with the slimy casing and getting into an all manner of giggling fits with the sausage machine. But this technique of wrapping the meat like sweets in foil and poaching briefly allows you to make sausages mid-week in no time at all! This method is not for preserving sausages, just a way to form the shape. I love the possibilities it opens up and experimenting with different spicing will keep any food geek entertained for hours.
Sausages served with lentils cooked in stock is something I absolutely adore, so satisfying and hearty. The fennel, chilli and rosemary flavours in these sausages are a classic combination that suit the lentils particularly well and are my absolute favourite.
I've included some pictures in the method just to highlight how easy it is.
2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed
50g sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250g Castelluccio lentils
450ml chicken stock
2 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper
For the Sausages
500g minced pork
50ml strong red wine
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 mild chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper
For the lentils, fry the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes in 6 tbsp of the olive oil for a few minutes in a large pan. When the garlic starts to turn pale golden, add the lentils, stock and celery and cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Cover and keep warm over a low heat.
Meanwhile in a medium-sized bowl, mix the sausage ingredients well together and season with salt and pepper. Take a handful of mince and roll it into a sausage shape 8cm long and 3cm in diameter. Wrap tightly in a piece of foil, closing by turning the ends as you would a sweet.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Poach the sausages in the boiling water until they pop up to the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool a little, then take off the foil. This poaching should ensure that the sausages hold together.
Moisten the sausages with the remaining oil, then fry or grill (or roast) until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the sausages to the warm lentils and allow to cook gently together for 5 minutes. Eat with bread or, if you like, with a few boiled potatoes.