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Pork with Green Lentils (Petit Salé aux Lentilles) Recipe

Pork with Green Lentils (Petit Salé aux Lentilles)

Rating 4-5 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again
An Unusual Recipe

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Petit Salé aux Lentilles is traditional French cooking - the sort you'd come across in any country family. The meat and lentils are cooked, together with carrots, onions, celery and a generous bouquet garni of fresh herbs, then served in a soup plate with the cooking liquid.

Petit salé means lightly salted so if you can get hold of salt pork, you can skip the salting process. Also, I've seen this recipe made using belly pork which is a very fatty cut of meat and probably more loyal to the original recipes when lean meat was not something that most families could afford. But personally, I prefer to use a hock (pork knuckle) or a shank of pork. It still needs long slow cooking and I cut the skin off before serving.

My wife, Marie-Danielle, makes Petit Salé aux Lentilles using a pressure cooker, and it's done very quickly. However, pressure cookers and I are strangers to each other, so here's the 'proper' recipe!

      Preparation Time: 30 Minutes + waiting

      Cooking Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Pork with Green Lentils (Petit Salé aux Lentilles)

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 6:
2 lb
hock of ham (pork knuckle) or shank
coarse salt
2 tablespoons
duck or goose fat
3 medium
2 sticks
1 medium
1 lb
green lentils (lentilles vertes) - uncooked
chicken stock
bay leaves
1 sprig
1 stalk
3 cloves
pork sausages
3 stick
parsley (to garnish)


How to Cook Pork with Green Lentils (Petit Salé aux Lentilles)

  1. Salt the pork by rubbing it liberally with handfuls of salt. Leave to stand in the fridge for at least four hours (preferably overnight) in a non-reactive container (like a plastic box).
  2. Wash the salt off with cold water. Shake the meat dry then place it in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave for 20 minutes to remove any impurities then pour off the water and stand the meat to one side.
  3. Peel the carrots and cut into ¾" (2cm) lengths. Cut the celery into ¾" (2cm) lengths. Peel and chop the onion. Apply a medium-low heat to the pan and add the duck or goose fat. Once the fat has melted, add the carrots, celery and onions, along with a healthy pinch of salt. Stir the vegetables to coat in the fat then cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 5-8 minutes. Sweating helps to draw out moisture and softens the cell walls.
  4. Once the onions are translucent, add the lentils with just enough stock to cover them. Peel and crush (mince) the garlic. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, crushed garlic and the clove, then put the meat back in the pan. Cover the pan and cook on low heat (only just simmering, but no more) for one hour. Prick the sausages, brown them very quickly in a very hot frying pan, cut them in two, then add them to the Petit Salé. Cook for a further 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the meat from the pan. Allow to stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly then cut off any skin and fat and discard. Carve the meat into thick slices and stir it back into the Petit Salé. Serve hot in a soup plates with plenty of vegetables and a little cooking juice, together with a garnish of finely chopped parsley. It is ideally eaten with fresh crusty bread with a bottle of sturdy red to hand.

If you can get hold of smoked sausages or spicy sausages like Merguez, it adds an extra dimension to this recipe. Also, Petit Salé is excellent reheated if you have some left.
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Reviews of Pork with Green Lentils (Petit Salé aux Lentilles)

Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again March 31 2015
I love these kinds of hearty pork and lentil dishes! Thanks for posting. I haven't thought about making petit sale in years, but now I have a serious craving for it!
(2 reviews)
Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again April 18 2014
Like all traditional French recipes this one has several versions and the one I learned growing up calls for saucisses de Morteau, 2 med. onions grossly cut and picked with cloves, 3 Tbsp of red wine vinegar (pour on onions when brown - "deglasser"), and salt pork cut in slices et voila for this variation.
(5 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again December 23 2013
Oh so yummy!! First time we had it, my oldest said he'd never had a dish of meat and veg so good! (That says a lot from a 13yr). I double the recipe (which equals 2lb lentils) and my 6 kids 13 and under ate the entire pot!! they all loved it! easy + quick + delicious + healthy = PERFECT! Definitely a keeper! Worth seeking out small french lentils. They hold their shape and have a nutty flavor. This is one of the few recipes that I don't actually change around! Perfect the way it is!
(1 review)

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