This had better be awesome. I'd forgotten how much work sautéing ground sausage is. Ow.
Originally from the Peace, Love and Low Carb blog
. I have, as usual, changed it:
3lb ground Italian sausage (used Johnsonville)
2 + 2 Tbsp butter
2 + 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 C spinach, packed (baby, and all of a 5oz package)
1 C carrots, diced
1 leek, not so small, cleaned and sliced
1 box (6oz) minced onion and celery
~5 C chicken stock
1.5 C lentils (green)
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C Parmesian cheese, grated
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Original instructions: Heat slow cooker on low setting. Thoroughly rinse lentils, and add to slow cooker with chicken stock.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage in olive oil and butter.
Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings. Add the cooked sausage to the slow cooker.
Add spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, leek, celery and a little salt and black pepper to the pan. Sauté vegetables over medium heat until tender. About 10 minutes.
Add sauteed vegetables to the slow cooker and mix in.
Stir in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Cover and allow to cook on low 6-8 hours.
What I'm doing:
Brown sausage in olive oil and butter. Sauté veggies + salt & pepper in drippings. Package everything up and put in the fridge.
Do everything else tomorrow.
The original had one sautéing 1.5lb ground sausage in 2 Tbsp each of olive oil and butter. I wound up buying 3 1lb packs, and running low on oil in the pan about half way through and sloshed more olive oil in there. Then when sautéing the veggies (which were, like 2x the original) in the drippings, it looked too dry, so I added 2 more Tbsp of butter.
Right now I have the sausage browned and the veggies sautéd; I'm pretty much ready to combine everything when I wake up tomorrow so it can cook through the day.ETA, 5/28 17:54:
Goddamn, this is good. After having a few tastes, with steely resolve tn3270
and I portioned it into individual servings – seven of them – and packed them into the fridge for later. And then scraped the liner and licked the spoon. My apartment smells amazing
I put it to cook at 11:30am, and came home to it being done with the lentils just past al dente at 5:30pm. So 6 hours was fine.
The crockpot was about half full, i.e. I could have doubled the overall quantity (again) and it still would have fit. And that's having doubled the sausage and veggies already (the amounts listed above are about 2x the original). I probably should have doubled the lentils, too; the photos were not
at all representative and the lentils are now a footnote among the sausage.
So I could have done 6lbs of sausage, etc; 6lbs of meat is pretty standard for when I cook meat in the crockpot.
The problem with that plan is that I already had to sauté the sausage in three batches, in series, and then the veggies completely filled the pan, to the point I had to feed in the spinach gradually to get it all in there and it was so full had trouble stirring the veggies without sending them everywhere. Doubling the veggies again means two batches of veggie sauté. And I think my wrist would snap before I got through the fourth (of six!) batch of sausage; I was hurting pretty bad after the second one. (Hey, ! About a year ago you were looking for recs for slowcooker recipes with elaborate prep. Found you one!)
This is frustrating, because it seems pretty delicious, and I prefer to cook at scale; I generally want 10 to 16 servings of something. It's my first time cooking with leeks for myself, and oh god I had forgotten how much I love leeks. (Everybody, please rec leek recipes.)
Okay, the other problem is that this is not cheap. The ground sausage was on sale for about $4.50/lb. At six lbs, that's $27 just in meat. It's normally $5.50/lb. Leeks were also on sale; I got that one for about $1.50, but normally it would be a shade under $2. I bought pre-chopped celery+onion, for $2.50; chopping my own is a non-starter for a recipe already this hard on my arms. The small package of spinach was on sale for $2.79, normally $3.50. The one cup of cream was $1.99. I alread had the chicken stock in the house: one had been $2 on sale, regularly $2.50, the other $3.50. Call it $5 for the stock. Double all those item's regular prices, and that's another $30. Plus nominal amounts of lentils (like $1.50 for twice what I needed), carrots ($2 for twice as much as I needed), garlic, mustard, vinegar, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Doubling this recipe would push the price over $60 – way over $60 if the sausage isn't on sale – for 14 servings. Which is between $4 and $5 per modest sized serving. Ouch. At that price, and with this amount of work, it had damned well better be fabulous.