Since buying our slow cooker before Christmas I’ve tried some of our old favourite recipes in it to see how they fare. Some work very well, some not so much. This is one of the recipes that is improved with a slow low cook. It transforms the sauce into a thick, rich almost meat-like sauce that even satisfied meat-loving Hubs. Technically it is a vegan dish (assuming you use vegan wine and Worcestershire sauce), that is until you load it with cheese like we do.
I often make a big batches of this lentil ragu and freeze in 1-2 portions so a quick dinner is always at hand. We usually serve it with either pasta or couscous but it also works well with rice. What makes this meal even better is that it is a thrifty dish coming in at about 77p per portion.
When ever I use lentils in dishes I tend to use a mixture of both red and green lentils. Red lentils are good for thickening a sauce whereas green lentils give the texture.
This recipe is as easy as it comes. No sautéing of vegetables required. Just throw all the prepped ingredients in the slow cooker, sit back and 5 hours later you have dinner.
Slow Cooker Lentil Ragu
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 125g button mushrooms, halved
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 100g dried red lentils
- 100g dried green/puy lentils
- 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
- 500g passata
- 200ml vegetable stock
- 125ml red wine or port (if making this as a vegan dish make sure the wine/port is vegan)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (again if making as vegan use a vegan Worcestershire sauce)
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- salt and pepper
- Prep all the vegetables and place in the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Stir.
- Cook on low for 5-7 hours until sauce is thick and lentils are cooked. It is sometimes worth giving the ragu an occasional stir during cooking and check no more liquid is required. If it does need more water before the end of cooking make sure this is hot water.