Knackwurst and Lentil Casserole

A tasty and economical dish for a family supper, Knackwurst and Lentil Casserole may be served with a green salad and cold beer for a really filling meal.

1 lb. lentils

2 pints beef stock

1 teaspoon salt

1 large onion bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 oz. butter

6 bacon slices, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

6 knackwurst, cut into

1-inch lengths

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

Put the lentils in a large saucepan and cover them with the stock. Add the salt, onion and bouquet garni. Place the pan over high heat and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, or until the lentils are tender. w

Remove the pan from the heat. Drain the lentils and reserve the liquid. Remove and discard the onion and bouquet garni.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a medium-sized frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the bacon and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bacon is lightly browned.

Add the knackwurst and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the knackwurst and bacon from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper towels.

Put a layer of half, the lentils in a medium-sized ovenproof casserole. Cover the lentils with the knackwurst and bacon mixture and sprinkle over the pepper. Top with the remaining lentils. Pour in the reserved lentil cooking liquid.

Sprinkle the cheese on top and place the casserole in the oven. Bake for minutes to 1 hour, or until the cheese is golden brown.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve at once.

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