Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sausage and Beluga Stew

This is one of my favorite stews to make because it is high in protein and complex carbohydrates, is simple to prepare, hearty and uses so few ingredients. You can also vary the ingredients slightly and get a perfect meal every time. Added bonus? Beluga beans are exceptionally good for your heart! 

Here's what I typically use:

1 pound or more of sausage 
(bulk or links)
1 1/2 cup of black lentils (A.K.A Beluga beans)
(I used a mixture of French green and black, other types will cook more quickly, 
turn mushy and alter flavor slightly.)
1 cup sweet corn
(I used 1/2 cup of left over cabbage and 8 collard greens, stemmed and chopped, instead)
4 ribs of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
5 1/2 cups water
(I used 2 cups chicken broth and 3 cups water, 
and added a little water at a time in the end while the stew thickens)
Sea salt
Black peppercorns

Here's what I did:

Rinse the lentils and cull them for small stones and debris.
Remove sausages from their casings if they are links, and place in heavy soup pot with tight fitting lid.
Lightly brown sausage and break it up into smaller pieces. 
Add celery, onion and other veggies. Saute mixture until veggies soften.
Pour in water/broth. Add a few shakes of sea salt and some fresh ground black pepper.
Add lentils. Stir everything together, cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from burning. Remove the lid for the last 1-2 hour while simmering, when stew thickens to desired consistency, serve pipping hot into bowls. Works well with slices of  thick crusted bread.
Season to taste.

For more information on the nutritional density of black lentils or Beluga beans, click on this link:

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