I made this last week when we had unexpected guests who came for lunch, and ended up staying for dinner. I'd taken some pork ribs out of the freezer for dinner, and there wasn't really enough to go around, so I turned it into this yummy French style casserole, and we ate it with mashed potato and green beans. It was pronounced delicious, and a keeper.
This is a long, slow braise
So you'll need:
1kg of pork ribs, snipped into chunks with kitchen scissors or cut with a knife, and trimmed of the rind
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and quartered (if you can get the little pickling or pearl onions, and add them whole, even better...about 8)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Fresh or dried thyme, several sprigs or one teaspoon
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
2 beef stock cubes
1 heaped teaspoon smokey paprika
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
Water to cover
1 1/2 cups black, green or brown lentils
Chopped fresh herbs to serve
In a large pot, brown the pork ribs well in the olive oil. Add all the other ingredients except the lentils,paprika, tomato paste and fresh herbs.
Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover with a fitted lid, and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Add the lentils after that time, topping up the water if necessary as the lentils will absorb a fair amount. Keep an eye on it for this reason, adding more water when and if necessary.
Simmer for another 40-50 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
Taste and season if necessary.
Now you can serve this as is, with it's soupy sort of base, or you can drain the liquid, thicken it with a little cornflour like gravy, add some butter to the lentil and pork mixture, and toss it well, and serve it with the gravy, over mash or polenta or rice or pasta. Either way it's all sort of earthy and homey and delish.
Yummy, and inexpensive :)