Braised lentils

Braised lentils

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g puy lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
50 g piece bacon
1 onion
1/2 carrot
1/2 celery stick
1/2 garlic clove
300ml Chicken and veal stock
thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Rinse the lentils in a bowl of cold water and pick over them to remove any grit. Drain, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 20–30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and add the piece of bacon. Allow it to fry gently to render the fat. Halve, peel and very finely dice the onion. Add the onion to the pan, cover with a lid (ideally with a cartouche) and sweat until soft and translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and very finely dice the carrot and de-string and very finely dice the celery. Peel and crush the garlic. When the onion is soft, add the carrot and celery and fry gently to soften a little, but not take on colour. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Drain the lentils and add them to the pan with the stock, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently until the lentils are tender, about 20–30 minutes. Drain the lentils in a sieve over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquor and discarding the thyme, bacon and herbs.
  5. Return the cooking liquor to the saucepan and reduce until syrupy. Add the lentils and vegetables back to the reduced cooking liquor, which will create a sauce for the lentils and vegetables. Taste and season, then serve. Delicious served with lamb, duck, sausages and meaty fish such as monkfish.

Variation

  • Braised lentils with chilli and soy: Rinse and soak the lentils as for the main recipe. Sweat ½ chopped onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, then add ½ crushed garlic clove, ½ red chilli, deseeded and very finely diced, and a 1 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated; cook for 1 minute. Drain the lentils and add to the pan with 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar. Let this bubble to reduce to down, then add 150 ml stock and 150 ml water, 1 parsley sprig and 1 bay leaf, and simmer gently until the lentils are tender. Discard the parsley and bay. Add ½–1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1–2 tablespoons sunflower oil and a few drops of sesame oil, then taste and season as necessary.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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