Melt the butter and a little oil in a sauce pan, add the pork belly, fry until slightly coloured.
Add the chopped shallots, carrots and garlic, cook over a medium heat stirring constantly. Cooking until vegetables are softened but not coloured.
Add the washed lentils and bouquet garni to the pan.
Cover with cold water (600ml), the water level should be approximately 2cm above the lentils.
Bring to the boil continue to boil for 10 minutes, reduce down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The green lentils will be tender and have a slight chewy texture.
Strain the lentils through a sieve, retaining the cooking liquid that is being poured off in a jug. Remove the bouquet garni from the lentils.
Put the lentils and cooking liquid to one side.
Cook the sausage: :
This is best done at the same time that the lentils are cooking.
Heat some oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan. The pan should be hot enough to make the sausage sizzle when you put it in the pan.
Add the sausage and pan-fry over a medium heat for between 10-15 minutes depending on how thick the sausage is.
Turn the sausage occasionally until it's cooked through and golden in colour.
When the sausage is cooked remove from the frying pan and allow the sausage to rest on a plate.
Deglaze the frying pan by keeping it on the heat and adding the liquid from the lentils to the pan.
Once the liquid is boiling, bring the pan back to a gentle simmer. Reduce the liquid by half.
Add the Dijon mustard, chopped tarragon and a cap full of cream to the pan and blend well.
Return the lentils and vegetable mixture to the frying-pan and allow the lentils to heat through.
Check for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
Return the sausage to the frying-pan on top of the lentils, remember to add any juices from the resting plate and serve immediately.
Lentils are very valuable source of vegetable protein. They are considered a high biological value protein because they contain many essential amino acids. Omit the pork belly and sausage and you have a wonderfully nutritious vegetarian meal.
Richard always uses unsalted butter. In this recipe he uses butter as well as oil when cooking to give the sausage a better colour. Richard dices the butter, it melts quickly and heats through evenly in the frying-pan.
Richard also uses pork belly, this is for flavour and optional you could substitute this with bacon lardons or green rashers.
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