Friday, September 3, 2010

Classic German Linseneintopf (Lentil stew)

Attempt 1 (fail, but stock is excellent)

Step 1: make 1 liter stock with 700 gram smoked Schweinebacke (I used only 200 gram and probably not from that particular part of the pig), one onion (whole), a 40 gram piece of celery root, bay leaf, black pepper corns and salt. Boil and simmer for 60 minutes but after 30 minutes (see step 2).

Step 2: After 30 minutes remove onion, celery root, bay leaf, black pepper corns from stock and add 150 gram carrots (cut in small dice) and 250 gram potatoes (cut in small dice). At this point remove the meat and cut in small dice. Discard excess fat. Return to the stock, add 200 gram soaked green lentils and simmer for another 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and the juice has been reduced.

Step 3: Bring to taste with white wine vinegar and salt.

Note: I used French Puy lentils*, any green lentils are okay. Brown lentils are a better choice for soup.

*) Puy lentils are the wrong choice. They remain too firm. Puy lentils are excellent for a (cold) salad, not for a stew or soup. It's confusing since Puy lentils are also a type of green lentils. Sometimes Puy lentils are called French Green Lentils.

Attempt 2 (success)

I wasn't too pleased with the result yesterday. Puy lentils are completely wrong; they remain too hard. Half a liter of stock was left so I decided to try again, this time using ordinary green lentils.

Fry some smoked bacon in olive oil.

Add onion (diced), carrot (diced), potato (diced), celeriac (diced) and soaked lentils. I added the stock and brought it to a boil.

This time I also added, according to the jar, 'Duitse knakworst' (they resemble Wiener Würstchen).

Simmer until the vegetables are done. The result was excellent. This dish is easy to freeze.

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