Saucisse de Toulouse is a staple ingredient in the classic French dish cassoulet. Made of pork, garlic, white wine, allspice, coriander, nutmeg, and caraway, these delicately spiced sausages provide a subtle kick to the rich and hearty winter stew. However, cassoulet is usually (for me) a long process with a plethora of pricey ingredients (mmmm duck confit) and I usually reserve making this dish for cold, wintry nights. (Well, as wintry as you can get in Coastal Northern California.)
So how else should one prepare Saucisse de Toulouse? This dish provides a similar richness as cassoulet but much, much lighter when you eat it. The ingredients list is simple and the cooking time is merely about 25 minutes!
Saucisse de Toulouse with Lentils
1 12 oz package of Saucisse de Toulouse (mine are from Fabrique Delices)
1.5 cups of dry Puy lentils, rinsed and picked through
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped fine
16 oz of organic chicken broth
1 glass of red wine (I used an inexpensive Burgundy)
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
salt & pepper
fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
In a medium sized Dutch oven, heat a little bit of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan lightly). Make sure you pierce the sausages with a fork, and then put them into the heated pan and brown on all sides. Once browned, remove from the pan and set aside. It does not matter if you cook the sausages all the way through, as they will finish cooking in the lentils.
In the same pan, sautee the onions and garlic for a few minutes, then add the carrots. Next, add your lentils, chicken broth, wine, thyme, and bay leaf, salt and pepper to season. Turn heat to medium-low and cover. After about 10 minutes, add the sausages back to the pot and stir, so that the sausages are somewhere in the middle of the lentils. For the next fifteen minutes, keep checking the tenderness of the lentils. Once the lentils are at the desired level of tenderness, you are done!
We were able to make four servings of this dish. It is fairly filling and the lentils are so good for you. Enjoy!