- Yield: 4
The best damn Swabian lentils I ever made
As a Swabian guy, I've been eating lentils all my live. It's our national dish and in the winter time (which lasts about 7 months where I am from), nothing beats a plate of steaming hot lentils, over homemade spätzle and wieners. And naturally, as with all national dishes, every proper Swabian house wive has her own recipe on how to make the lentils.
Growing up, I ate my mom's lentils, and both my grandma's ones. And I made the mistake to tell everyone who was asking and not asking, that the lentils my dad's mom makes were the best. Unfortunately, she passed away before I could ask her for the recipe. And ever since I've been cooking, I made the recipe that my mom learned from hers. And its pretty darn good.
A few days ago, though, I did some reading on recipes and just came up with my own freestyle interpretation of the recipes I have read. And the result were the best lentils I have ever eaten in my life. I kid you not, I was puzzled and delighted with every bite I took. And because sharing is caring, I am going to share this recipe here for me to remember, and y'all to enjoy them at home.
A note on the lentils. I have some that do not require overnight soaking and are cooked within 45 - 60 minutes. Just refer to the package to find out, whether or not you have to soak yours before cooking them.
- To cook the lentils
- Celeriac - 1/2 cup finely chopped
- Carrots - 1/2 cup finely copped
- Leeks - 1/2 cup finely chopped
- Butterfat / Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Brown Lentils - 250g
- Bacon - 2 thick cut slices
- Bay Leafs - 2
- Cloves - 2
- To Finish
- Butter - 2 tbsp
- Flour - 2 tbsp
- Redwine - 1/4 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 - 4 tbsp (to taste)
- Salt, Pepper - to taste
- Maggie - 1 - 2 tbsp (to taste)
- Add the butterfat to a heavy saucepan over medium high heat.
- When the fat is melted and hot, add the vegetables and sauté for 10 minutes stirring regularly.
- When the vegetables have browned, add the lentils and sauté for another minute.
- Add enough water, so it's about 1 inch above the lentils, I used about 5 cups.
- Poke the cloves into the bay leaves and add to the lentils.
- Add the bacon to the lentils.
- Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are soft. Do not salt anything at this point or the lentils will take forever to become soft. About 45 to 60 minutes.
- When the lentils are soft to your liking, put through a fine mesh strainer and keep the cooking liquid.
- Pick our the bay leaves, cloves, and bacon and discard.
- Quickly rinse the pot and add the butter back over medium heat.
- When the butter is melted, add the flour and cook until it is nicely browned and smells slightly nutty.
- Drop the lentils from the strainer back into the pot. Add red wine and some of the cooking liquid. It's up to you how much liquid you add, depending on how liquid you like the lentils. Start slow, you can always add more.
- Season to taste with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Maggie.
- Serve hot with spätzle and wiener.