Lentil Stew

lentils stew

Lentil stew is a typical Spanish dish. When I make it, it takes me back to my childhood. I am a kid again, coming home from school on a winter’s afternoon and smelling this. It makes me feel all warm inside. Nothing compares to it.

Just like most things I make this is quick and easy to make. It is packed with flavours and it is delicious.

lentils

Like any stew, it is best the day after. Let it rest for a day and you will be able to fish out all the fat (if there's any) with a spoon or laddle, on the top. Once you have gotten the fat out, put it to boil again with half a glass of water if needed. Usually you eat it with a spoon so you need it to be quite “liquidy” but you decide how thick you want it. My dad used to always eat it with a fork, he likes being different.
Use a good quality chorizo, Spanish is best and good lentils; I buy Spanish ones called Pardinas (I buy them online) but your normal puy lentils work very well. For this recipe I have used iberico ham fat to give it some flavour, you can find it in places where they sell Serrano ham on the bone. Just ask for some fat or dry bits from the bone. This will add taste to the lentils while they cook but it is optional. If you can’t find it, use bacon fat or pancetta cubes; just lightly fry it beforehand so it releases all the flavours and throw it in with the lentils. Take them out before serving.

lentil stew

This is a big portion, but it keeps very well in the fridge, just make sure you add a little water and that it is heated through. You can as well freeze it, let it thaw overnight and heat it up by boiling it.

Here is what you need:

-          200g of lentils

-          70g chorizo in chunks

-          1 bay leaf

-          1 stock tablet or 150ml of beef stock

-          1-2 carrots cut in small dices

-          1 leek cut in big chunks (optional)

-          ½ potato in small dices

-          50ml white wine

-          ½ onion diced thinly

-          Ham/bacon fat

Check if your lentils need to soak as some need to soak overnight or 20-30 minutes, some don’t need soaking. I usually leave them soaking regardless if they need it while I prepare the veg.

In a big pot, heat a tsp of oil and cook the onions and the ham/bacon fat. Before the onion becomes translucent, add the rest of the veggies, the potato and the chorizo. Cook for a few minutes until the onion has browned but not burnt. Add the wine and once the alcohol has evaporated, add a glass of water and the stock tablet. Put the lentils in the mix with a bay leaf and cover everything with water or stock. Once it starts evaporating add a couple more glasses of water and bring the heat to a medium heat. Let it cook as long as the lentils need, check on the bag as they all have different cooking times while checking there is still enough water. Add more water as necessary. Taste and season throughout the cooking.

As I said earlier, it is best left for a day but if you are having it on the same day, let it cool so you can collect the fat and then simmer again for 10min. I usually take the ham fat out once it has cooled as well as the leek.

If you want to make this dish a vegetarian one, replace the stock for veggie stock and don't add the ham or chorizo. I would then add another bay leaf. It is still a very tasty dish!

Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet me at @hungrylittelone!

Enjoy!