Marco and I looooove lentils. Lentil Chili. Lentil Burgers. Curried Lentils and Rice. Unfortunately, they’re usually my “I’m running out of options and don’t feel like going to the grocery store yet” dinner creations, but after throwing together this recipe in my crock-pot, I think we might be eating them more often. This is most likely because I added bacon fat instead of olive oil, because what doesn’t taste better with bacon?? But, more importantly, the bacon fat really brought out a smokey flavor in the lentils that was amazing, and a Penzeys Spice mix I used added another depth of flavor that resulted in a serious party-in-your-mouth kind of taste. Win.
3-4 tablespoons of bacon fat (or olive oil, but bacon fat is really the way to go here, plus you couldn’t call it “Bacon Lentil Stew”)
1 cup of whole green lentils
1/2 of a small onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 can of black beans, drained (or kidney or cannellini beans, if you’re like Jen and can’t have/don’t like black beans)
1 quart of stock (veggie, chicken or beef, your choice)
2 small (roma) tomatoes, diced (or you could use a can of crushed tomatoes, you just might want to cut back on the stock a little)
1 cup of diced asparagus (optional, I just had some leftover in my fridge and threw it in)
1 heaping tablespoon of Trinidad spice mix (contains: salt, lemon peel, garlic, cloves and ginger, so if you don’t have it just add some salt, lemon juice, and a pinch of clove and ginger powder if you have it)
3 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (if you want a thick stew rather than a broth-y soup)
Throw it all in there (minus the cornstarch slurry), and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-ish hours (you can turn it on before you go to bed and turn it off in the morning, if you’re one who gets roughly 8 hours of sleep, as you should). When it’s done, add the cornstarch slurry (if you’re going to), stir and let cool. (You could also top with cooked bacon, chopped finely, to really make it bacon-y.) Then chow down on your 4-6 servings of lunches and dinners. It’s delicious.
I made some of those much-talked about Brazilian cheese rolls, made out of tapioca flour, and served with the stew. That was quite an adventure, but they actually tasted really good!