Pic of Salted pork with lentils

Salted pork with lentils

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Meat mains

Salted pork with lentils

Main Serves 6 2h 10 min
This is a simple, warming Northern French classic: cured pork belly, boiled until tender then sliced and served with Puy lentils. You'll need to start the curing process several days in advance. Dark speckled lentils are also fine for this – you just need a variety that stays firm when cooked. This is good served with a salad with a robust, sharp vinaigrette, or with braised greens. The pork will need 2-7 days of salting.


  • 40g sea salt
  • 30g celery salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 700g belly pork
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • few peppercorns
  • 300g puy lentils


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 2h
  • Step 1

    Grind the salts, bay leaves and juniper berries in a pestle and mortar and rub evenly into the pork.
  • Step 2

    Place the meat in a plastic bag in the fridge and leave for anything from two days to week, turning each day.
  • Step 3

    Take the meat out of the bag and rinse under a cold tap, then place in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer, then replace the cooking liquid with fresh water.
  • Step 4

    Add the stock vegetables and peppercorns and simmer very gently for an hour and a half.
  • Step 5

    Remove the pork and strain, but don't discard the water. Rinse the lentils, tip into a warm saucepan and add the pork liquid. Gently boil until the lentils are done, but not mushy (about 20-25 minutes), and drain. Add more water if necessary.
  • Step 6

    By this time the pork should be cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the rib bones and cut the meat into thick slices. Place them in a serving dish on top of the lentils and put it in the oven to reheat. Serve with lots of Dijon mustard.

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