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Friday, 20 September 2013

Roast belly pork and Puy lentils

I had intended to make a dish using belly pork and Puy lentils that I found through watching Rick Stein's tv show, French Odyssey. It is called petit sale aux lentilles (salt pork with lentils). I had the belly pork already in my freezer and had it thawed out in my fridge. Unfortunately for this dish one needs to rub a dry salt cure into the meat and cover in cling film in the fridge for four hours. I had forgotten this was the case and neither had any salt cure or the time to prepare such a dish yesterday.

So I turned to another recipe in a small book of recipes called Frugal Feasts published by the Delicious magazine. It was simplicity itself.

                                 Bouquet garni of bay leaves, celery leaves and flat leaved parsley

I used a kilo of boneless belly pork in the piece, scored the skin with a sharp kitchen knife and rubbed sea salt into the skin and surface flesh. The oven had been pre-heated to Gas Mark 6. I roughly chopped an onion and some celery for the pork to sit on in the open casserole dish and added a small amount of sunflower oil to the surface of the pork. I also made a bouquet garni and tucked it under the pork to flavour the juices. In it went for an hour. When I took it out for a baste, the skin had already started to crisp up in that lovely ruddy brown way and, as per the recipe, I upped the temperature to Gas Mark 7 for the final half hour. To add a bit of meaty variety I added a couple of bratwurst to the pork dish. They had been in the fridge for a couple of days so I didn't want to waste them.

The Puy lentils were a doddle. I had purchased a bag of  'ready to eat' Gourmet Puy lentils a while ago and they were an easy 'drop into boiling water for ten minutes' boil in the bag type of option.

Another time I shall prepare myself properly and try out the petit sale aux lentilles, a recipe that also recommends putting smoked sausage with the dish as well as red wine and diagonally chopped vegetables. Sounds yummy.

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