Gabriel talks to an artisan in Saint Flour who makes outstanding smallgoods, including ham and salami. In the kitchen top French chef, Philippe Mouchel, prepares slow-cooked salted pork with lentils - another great dish of the region known as petit salé aux lentilles. You need to plan ahead when preparing this dish.
Stage 9, Issoire - Saint Flour: In Saint Flour, one of the most rustic French towns of this year's Tour de France, the locals love pork meat and small goods.
500 g pork belly
60 g sea salt
2 tsp cracked pepper
3 sprigs of thyme
1 onion, pierced with a clove
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, whole
a 10 cm piece of leek
2 bouquet garni, made up of 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of thyme and a few parsley stalks
30 g pork fat
2 shallots, chopped
80 g bacon, diced
1 ½ cups lentils, boiled for 2 minutes then drained
3 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped parsley
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.
Place the pork belly on a plate and rub generously with sea salt. Season it with pepper and thyme, then wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Place the salted pork in a pot and add the onion pierced with a clove, the garlic, carrots, leek and one bouquet garni. Cover with water, bring to a simmer and simmer for 2-3 hours until tender.
Heat the pork fat in a pan. Add the shallots and stir for 1 minute. Add the bacon, stir well, then add the lentils. Cover with the chicken stock, add the remaining garlic and bouquet garni and simmer until the lentils are soft. Stir in a little butter.
Drain and slice the pork.
Serve the lentils with a few carrots and the sliced pork. Sprinkle with parsley.
If you wish, serve with mustard or a salad dressing with herbs.