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Overnight Shepherd's Pie

Spicy Lentil And Chestnut Casserole With Venison Sausages


Venison sausages would be ideal, but don’t sweat it too much if they’re difficult to find – any decent pork sausage will do fine. They key is to cook them slowly, over a low heat, turning them occasionally in a languorous manner. This could take up to 20 minutes, but the wait is well worth the bother.

THE INGREDIENTS

Serves 4:

3 tbs olive oil; 8 venison sausages; 1 onion, chopped; 25g fresh ginger, grated; 2 large garlic cloves, chopped; 1 tsp ground cumin; 1 tsp ground coriander; 0.5 tsp ground turmeric; 2 tsp tomato puree; 150g plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped; 100g cooked chestnuts (vacuum-packed pickled ones are fine), roughly chopped; 100g Puy lentils; 650ml brown chicken stock; 2tsp chopped coriander, to serve.


THE RECIPE

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan, then add the sausages and cook until browned all over. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the same pan, stir in the onion and cook until tender and lightly coloured. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook until the aroma rises. Then stir in the spices and tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, until softened.

Return the sausages to the pan and stir in the chestnuts, lentils and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the sausages are cooked through. If the mixture gets too dry, add a little more stock or some water.

Season with plenty of salt and pepper, and mix in the coriander to serve.


The perfect accompaniment - a glass of Crozes Hermitage

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