4 March 2015

Lentejas castellanas (Castilian lentils)

This is a classic recipe from Burgos (Spain), or at least how my mum and grandma used to make it! Lentils are great, they are full of protein, fibre and a good source of iron and are essential in vegetarian dishes (although this is definitely not a vegetarian dish!).
This is  a very heavy dish, be warned, so it's something you eat on a Saturday or Sunday for lunch when your plan is just to stay in the sofa for the rest of the day. But is so full of flavour! It has a bit of everything.

I has all the classic flavours from my region, including chorizo, rice black pudding, pancetta... It's ideal in winter, it warms you up from the stomach outwards. It gives you lots of energy if you have something to do (I just rather don't move and enjoy the meal, though). But if you are on a diet, it's probably not the best meal... Lentils are hard work, I have to be honest, it can take ages to cook, but the result is totally worth it.

Serves 5
  • 500 gr of brown lentils
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large tomato (or 2 medium ones) in quarters
  • 1 potato cut into large pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 cooking chorizos
  • 1 morcilla (black pudding sausage)
  • 200 gr of pancetta
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 large bay leave

The first thing you need to do is to check the type of lentils you have. Spanish brown lentils need to soak overnight in water, but other lentils might not need it. Also check the cooking time. The lentils I use have a cooking time of 2 hours, but if you use a pressure cooker you can reduce the time to 30 minutes. This recipe is based on the lentils I have, but it is relatively easy to adapt to other types.

Leave the lentils to soak overnight covered with enough water.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic for a bit until golden. Then add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the pancetta and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the bay leave, the paprika, the potatoes and the lentils. Stir well to mix all the flavours, cover with water and bring to the boil mixing thoroughly. Reduce the fire and shimmer covered for 1 hour and a half. This is when the cooking time of the lentils is important. Mine take 2 hours, so 1 hour and a half cooking and then, the last 30 minutes to add more things. If yours take longer or less, then just cook for that amount of time minus 30 minutes.

After an hour and a half add the chorizo and the black pudding and cook for a further 30 minutes until everything is cooked.

Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 5 Servings
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 637
Calories from Fat 305
Total Fat 33.9g52%
Saturated Fat 7.5g37%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 1192mg50%
Potassium 577mg16%
Carbohydrates 39.7g13%
Dietary Fiber 7.2g29%
Sugars 2.7g
Protein 38.2g
Vitamin A 21% · Vitamin C 30%
Calcium 3% · Iron 9%

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