LENTIL STEW – LENCSE FŐZELÉK
This is a repost with a motto. If your lentils and green peas end up in the same jar, separate them or discard the whole lot, because nothing good can come from cooking them together.
“Még nyílnak a völgyben a kerti virágok,
Még zöldel a nyárfa az ablak előtt,
De látod amottan a téli világot?
Már hó takará el a bérci tetőt.”
Petőfi Sándor, Szeptember végén
The flowers still bloom in the valley gardens.
The tree is still green outside the window.
But over there can you see the winter’s world?
Mountain tops already wrapped in snow.
Sándor Petőfi, September’s End
Yes fall is upon us. Bitterly cold air blew two weeks ago when grandchild and I embarked on a bit of shopping. I don’t know why but I thought of lentil stew as we made our way from the car to the mall. And so here is what I made from a new bag of lentils. Now that’s much better. This is real lencsefőzelék. I don’t cook it for New Years out of principle. Nobody can accuse me with superstitions, because knock on wood, I don’t have one.
1 cup green lentils
2 thick slices of bacon, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
2 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried parsley
3-1/2 cups homemade chicken or pork stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 pinch of baking soda
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
• Place a cup of lentils in a medium dutch pot.
• Fry the chopped bacon in a non stick skillet until it gets a little color.
• Add the onions and the garlic and sauté until translucent.
• Stir in the parsley.
• Remove skillet from the heat and with a slotted spoon transfer the bacon mixture into the pot that has the lentils in it. Discard the remaining bacon fat.
• Add the meat stock, bay leaves, sugar, paprika and the baking soda to the pot.
• Season with salt and pepper, but be mindful that the stock is already salty.
• Cover and slowly simmer the lentils until tender.
• Make a smooth paste from the flour and cold water.
• Add to the pot and bring it back to slow simmer.
• Slowly simmer for 3-4 minutes longer.
• Adjust the seasoning and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on the top.
• Remove from heat, cover and let the stew rest for half an hour before serving.
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