Bacon: It's the star in this classic lentil dish
Barbara Jezior of Murrieta earns the No. 7 berth on my list of 1,001 things to do with bacon with her family recipe for lentils and -- what else? -- bacon. I haven't had the chance to put this recipe through its paces in the Times' test kitchen, but it sure looks good. Thanks, Barbara, for allowing us to post it.
And here is Barbara's e-mail and recipe:
Here is one of my family’s favorite bacon recipes for your consideration. I started cooking it in the 1970s.... Happy Holidays. This is a classic German recipe that is an ultimate in comfort food and couldn’t be easier to prepare. It’s also cheap!
The onion, carrot, and vinegar amounts can be increased or decreased at will. However, the best vinegar choice is Heinz’s -– it tastes better in this dish than most of the fancy and/or organic varieties. Like most comfort foods, it tastes even better after it has been allowed to sit for a while.
Really great accompaniments: a cucumber and onion salad with sour cream and dill dressing and a good, crusty German rye bread.
Lentils with Bacon (Linseneintopf)
2 cups brown lentils
2 large onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced fine
12 slices good quality bacon cut in small pieces (use slab bacon if possible)
2 tablespoons Heinz cider vinegar
Salt, medium coarse ground pepper
Wash and cook lentils according to package directions, but don't cook them to the mushy stage. They should be tender, but still retain their shape. Drain and put aside.
In large frying pan cook bacon, remove pieces from pan and drain on paper towels. Pour off some of the fat in pan, and reserve it (just in case more is needed or save it for another use). Leave a generous amount in the pan, and sauté chopped up onions and carrots over low-medium heat until lightly browned and tender.
Stir in drained lentils, bacon pieces, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Heat until piping hot before serving. More vinegar can be sprinkled on at this point for a super tangy taste.
Thanks again, Barbara, and Happy Holidays to you, too.
--Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Manager
Photo credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times