Mar 09

Cheaper wines, sausages and lentils

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It’s worth seeking out lesser known, cheaper wines which are actually drinkable so that you can enjoy a tipple during the week without breaking the bank. This is, of course, what every wine merchant in the country is trying to do: to discover cheap yet fabulous wines that no-one’s ever heard of, and then to bring them to the masses at a vast profit.

Mont Tauch wines from the Languedoc in south-west France are relatively unknown in this country although they are available from supermarkets.

I went to a tasting recently and had the Mont Tauch Fitou (Waitrose, Somerfield and Sainsbury’s – £5.99) and it’s very quaffable. The lovely people there have provided me with this idea for something to eat with it (gotta line our stomachs…haven’t we?).

Sausage and Lentil Stew with Pancetta

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 sausages
  • 8 slices pancetta, chopped (or smoked bacon)
  • 1 fennel, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, chopped and de-stringed
  • 400g tin green lentils, drained (or 200g dried, soaked overnight)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly


  1. Fry onion in oil in a deep frying pan.
  2. Grill sausages and slice into thick pieces.
  3. Add bacon to the onion and stir for a minute.
  4. Add diced fennel, carrot and celery and sweat down 10 minutes on a gentle heat.
  5. And 1 tin or equivalent of green lentils.
  6. Add 500ml chicken stock bit by bit to ensure the stew doesn’t go watery.
  7. Stir in a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly.
  8. Serve with wholegrain mustard and Mont Tauch Fitou red wine, if you are splashing out.
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