Beef Up Your Stew!
"The lentil or Masoor daal or Masoor dal (Lens culinaris), considered a type of pulse, (generic translation daal or dal,) is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 15 inches (38 cm) tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with five thousand seeds in each."
One of the vegetarian substitutes for mince is the humble lentil. Usually, the image that lentils conjure up is that of buckets of water, and having to soak them overnight...all of that effort. I know I'm probably not the first one to think of it, but I've just found a way to avoid all of that!
A stew-type recipe (like a bolognese) calls for a mixture of mince, and when you're making a big pot (presumably for a large family), you'll need a large amount of mince or risk the stew ending up watery, rather than rich and hearty. And meat is expensive! The solution?
Because of the long cooking hours, you don't have to soak the lentils. Just rinse it in a strainer until the water runs clear, and add them in with the rest of the stew. When the stew's finished, the lentils are nicely cooked and the stew's really nice and hearty!
Great for those cold winter nights coming up.