Slow Cooker Lentils with Ham

A Cozy dish from pantry staples

nexpensive and easy to prepare, the humble lentil is a nutritious pantry staple that we like to keep on hand year-round. This recipe, a classic combination of pork and legume, is one that readily lends itself to preparation in a slow cooker or a Dutch oven.

We’ve paired the dish with our 2017 Lange Estate Pinot Noir Reserve. The smoky flavors imparted by the ham magnifies the subtle earthiness of the wine; the two complement each other an a way that is deeply satisfying.

Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1        tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1        carrots (2-3) peeled and diced

1        cup celery (2-3 stalks) sliced

1 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped 

2        cloves garlic finely minced

4        cups beef stock

2        cups water

2        cups green lentils rinsed and drained

1        cured or smoked ham hock or 1 lb leftover country ham

1/2    tsp dried thyme

1/2    tsp ground black pepper

1/4    tsp smoked paprika

1        bay leaf

salt to taste

flat-leaf Italian parsley for garnish 

EQUIPMENT 

A slow cooker or a Dutch oven. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR A SLOW COOKER

 In a 12″ skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions with a pinch of salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes until browned and translucent. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker. 

 

Combine water, beef stock, lentils, ham, smoked paprika, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover. Heat on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the ham from the slow cooker. Discard the bay leaf and shred the ham. Serve the shredded ham over the top of the lentils, garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR A DUTCH OVEN

 Preheat oven to 325°. Heat the olive oil in a large 3-quart Dutch oven.

Add onions with a pinch of salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes until browned and translucent. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 3-5 minutes, until fragrant.

Stir in the water and beef stock. Then add the lentils, ham, smoked paprika, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cook, covered, in the oven for an hour to 90 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Remove the ham from the Dutch oven. Discard the bay leaf and shred the ham. Serve the shredded ham over the top of the lentils, garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. 

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