My Favorite Pulse Dish: Saucisse de morteau aux lentilles vertes du Puy (Pork sausage with green lentils)

My grandmother and my mother have in their traditional recipes the « Saucisse de morteau aux lentilles vertes du Puy », a pork sausage with green lentils. It’s a classic French recipe from the center of the country, Auvergne and Jura, and probably the most famous pulse dish in France. It uses two very typical ingredients: the Morteau sausage and the Puy green lentils.

The saucisse de Morteau, also known as the Belle de Morteau, is a traditional smoked sausage from the Morteau region of France, in Franche-Comté. It is smoked in traditional pyramidal chimneys, called tuyés. It is a very strongly flavoured and very dense uncooked sausage. It is produced at an altitude greater than 600 metres. The city of Morteau is at the centre of this artisanal industry.

Le Puy green lentil is a lentil cultivated from the Lens esculenta puyensis variety. The term Le Puy green lentil is protected throughout the European Union according to its Protected Designation of Origin and in France as an AOC. In the European Union, the term may only be used to designate lentils that come from the region of Le Puy (most notably in the commune of Le Puy-en-Velay) in France. These lentils are claimed to have gastronomic qualities.

The combination of these two strong flavors makes for a tasty and salty meals that adults and children love. This recipe reminds me of my childhood and is an all time favorite for my kids today too.

This is the classic French recipe in French:

Ingrédients (pour 4 à 5 personnes):

  • 500 g de lentilles vertes du Puy

  • 1 oignon

  • 1 carotte

  • 2 saucisses de Morteau

  • épices

  • huile d’olive

  • bouquet garni


Coupez l’oignon et faites-le blondir dans de l’huile d’olive. Ajoutez la carotte coupée en petits bouts et faites-les revenir 1 ou 2 minutes. Ajoutez au moins 1 litre d’eau et les lentilles. Laissez cuire à feu doux. Ajoutez du gros sel, du poivre, des baies rouges, un peu de noix de muscade, du thym et du laurier (1 feuille). Faites cuire les saucisses dans les lentilles (et non à part) sans les piquer pendant 1/2 h environ. Enlevez-les une fois leur cuisson terminée et laissez cuire les lentilles seules. En fin de cuisson, remettez les saucisses dans les lentilles pour les réchauffer et ajoutez une cuillère de moutarde.

Le truc du chef:

S’il vous en reste après un repas, vous pourrez transformer ces lentilles en soupe de lentilles (meilleure avec des lentilles déjà précuites).

Here is the English version, with added bacon:

  • Bacon is optional: 2 oz. smoked bacon, thinly sliced crosswise

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped

  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 sprigs thyme

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 12 oz. green Puy lentils, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 8 fresh pork sausages, such as sweet Italian sausages

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


Cook bacon in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, until its fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Add butter, onions, carrots, and celery; cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine; add to pan. Stir in lentils and 5 1⁄2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Discard herbs. Stir in mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring sausages, wine, and 1 cup water to a boil in a 12" skillet over high heat. Cook, turning sausages occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 12–15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add oil. Cook sausages until browned, 6–7 minutes. Serve the sausages over the lentils.

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