Puy lentils are the original green lentil that are harvested in the French region of Le Puy. They have the same grey-green colour, and are known for having the best texture and flavour of all lentil varieties.
- 1-kg piece pork belly
- 50 ml olive oil
- 2 golden shallots
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery stick, finely diced
- 150 g puy lentils
- 400 ml chicken stock
- 1 bouquet garni (bayleaf, thyme, parsley stalks tied together)
- 100 ml veal jus (veal stock reduction)
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Preheat oven 180ºC. Score the skin of the pork belly crossways with a sharp knife. Rub the skin with 1 tbsp of sea salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the pork belly with cold water and pat completely dry.
- Meanwhile, to make the apple puree, dice the apples into small pieces. Place apples in a medium saucepan and fill with water until apples are just covered. Simmer apples until super soft, about 20 mins. Drain, but reserve water. Blend apples to a smooth puree, adding a touch of the reserved water if needed. Set aside to cool down.
- Heat a pan with neutral oil over medium heat and fry pork belly skin side down. The oil will spit (see Note) so be careful. Fry slowly until fat is rendered and skin is crisp.
- Place the pork on a baking tray, and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the lentils, vegetables and bouquet garni to a pot then add the chicken stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes (or until lentils are tender but still have some bite).
- Slice the pork belly into 4 pieces and reheat veal jus.
- Place a spoon of apple puree down the bottom of four bowls. Divide the warm lentils between the bowls. Arrange the pork on top and drizzle with some veal jus.
• To avoid spitting oil, you may also roast the pork in a 200ºC for 15 minutes or until skin is crisp instead of using a pan.
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