Fill up any hungry tums with this lovely casserole, perfect for warming up a chilly evening. Try with some crusty bread for a new family favourite.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry the sausages until they are brown all over. Cut the sausages into small chunks and leave aside.
Add the rest of the oil to a large casserole dish and place over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the garlic and onions along with a pinch of salt.
Continue frying until the onions soften but do not colour – this takes 3-4 minutes.
Place the bacon, fennel (if using), celery and carrot in the dish and continue frying until softened. Next, stir the thyme and chopped sausages into the dish.
Stir the chicken stock in, and continue to heat until it reaches a gentle simmer.
When the casserole is simmering, add the balsamic vinegar and redcurrant jelly. Bring to the boil and add the lentils.
Turn the heat down so the casserole is at a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes, so that the lentils soften. If you find that the casserole loses a lot of liquid, top up with a little water.
In a bowl, mix the mustard and crème fraîche together and drizzle over the top.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.