Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sausage and lentil cassarole...

look at the twist on that grain
I had quite a productive day today.

Firstly, split some sections of birch Julian had brought over last weekend. I'd hoped to get in some adze practise by making a bowl or trough of some kind, but it was so twisted it just wouldn't have been worth the effort.

So, not wanting to let a load of green birch go to waste, decided to make a few spreaders in preparation for a craft fair that Julian has put us down for.

vintage froe knife
Of course, I did some other jobs at the same time, like wire brushing the chopper I'd got from a car boot (what Hank Allen calls a knife froe), grinding a primary bevel onto my draw knife which, a bit like this Dakota draw knife, has a very steeply angled single bevel, which means unless you are very careful it bites very deep and often gets stuck in the wood.

Then I made tea - sausage and blue lentil casserole. A really simple recipe:
heat olive oil. Add chopped lardons of pork belly, onions, courgettes, peppers (mushrooms, celery, butternut squash if you like). Season with black pepper, chili flakes, smoked paprika, celery salt. Cook off a generous slug of Balsamic vinegar - keep stiring to stop burning - we want seasoning and vinegar to caramelize, but not burn. Add sausages and a drop of water (deglaze base of pan if necessary) and cover in order to cook the sausages gently rather than frying.

Prepare blue lentils as instructions on the packet - I particularly like the blue type favoured by the French.

Add a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes to the casserole and a stock cube. When lentils are ready, add to casserole, stir though and serve. Delicious - and even more so when eaten from turned bowls with wooden spoons!

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