Sausage With Ancho Chile Butter and Lentils

Sausage With Ancho Chile Butter and Lentils

Serves 4 to 6

1 “quartered” medium onion
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh “tied-up” bouquet garni (made with thyme sprig, parsley sprig & bay leaf)
1 “finely chopped” large onion
1 pound lentils (rinsed and drained)
3 medium tomatoes (peeled, seeded & finely chopped)
5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds sausages (hot or sweet or a combination)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon “finely chopped” fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
2 “crushed” large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon “finely chopped” fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried oregano)
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup Ancho Chile Butter
Fresh ground black pepper

The Ancho Chile Butter:

1 large ancho chile
6 teaspoons unsalted butter (or 3 quarters of the stick)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 “unpeeled” garlic cloves
1 piece of waxed paper

In a small skillet (over medium-high heat) toast the garlic until light brown. Now, peel the garlic and set aside. The chile should be heated in the skillet until its flesh becomes soft and it starts to expand (do not char). Remove the chile from the heat, slit it open, and remove the veins/seeds. Place the chile in a small bowl and cover it with boiling water. Allow the chile to soften in the bowl for 30 minutes. In a food processor or blender, puree the garlic and chile. Then, add the salt and butter and continue to blend. Spoon the mixture onto the waxed paper and form a log by rolling it up. Place the log in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°F

In a medium saucepan, place the bouquet garni, lentils, bay leaf, chicken stock, and onion. Boil the mixture, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 40 minutes. The goal is to allow the lentils to become tender without falling apart. In a skillet over medium heat, place the oil and butter and sauté the chopped onions until they are transparent and soft. Add the garlic and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes (do not cover the skillet).

Uncover the saucepan and remove the onion and bouquet garni (discard these items). Now, stir in the thyme, the onion-tomato mixture from the skillet, oregano, and whipping cream. Over low heat, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes (stir occasionally). Add salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should appear to be slightly soupy. If desired, add 2 more tablespoons of whipping cream.

Cover or line a baking sheet with brown paper bags (double thickness is preferred). Use a fork to prick all the sausages and place them on the baking sheet. Bake the sausages for approximately 15 minutes per side. The baking time should be 30 minutes or until the sausages are evenly brown and puffed.

In individual serving bowls, spoon in the lentils, arrange the sausages, and top off with a slice of Ancho Chile Butter. The dish should be served immediately.

Diva Tip:

• Any leftover Ancho Chile Butter is wonderful when served chilled or sliced and placed on top of food.

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