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Lentil & Anchovy Stew

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“A lovely, warming, savoury dish, perfect for a winter's evening. I originally read a version of this recipe in a British cookbook called "The Pauper's Cookbook" by Jocasta Innes, many years ago, and I have been making it regularly ever since - with a couple of major modifications to the method along the way, so my sincere apologies to Ms Innes if she reads the following recipe and notices that it bears little resemblance to her inspirational starting point! The heartiest of eaters might like a little crusty bread on the side, but for most people, I think that a green salad would be sufficient accompaniment. Don't worry about the anchovies - they dissolve into the sauce, leaving an unidentifiable savoury backnote.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the lentils in a large pan with the bay leaf, and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the lentils are tender (about 35 minutes for the variety of lentil I use, but check your packet for instructions).
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate smaller pan, soften the onion and garlic in the butter. When soft and just beginning to turn golden, add the chopped anchovies and freshly ground pepper, and stir well. Heat for a couple of minutes to dissolve the anchovies into the mixture, then set aside until the lentils are cooked.
  3. When the lentils are ready, drain them of water, remove the bay leaf, and return them to the pan. Tip the contents of the smaller pan into the lentils and mix well. You may feel that it needs a little extra butter melted in at this stage, to moisten it - but I couldn't possibly comment! ;-).
  4. Serve the lentil & anchovy stew in bowls, each topped with four quarters of medium-boiled egg.

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