Lentil and smoked ham hock stew

Serves: 4
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 hot smoked ham hock or leftover ham bone with meat
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 400g puy lentils
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • Water

This is a knock-your-socks-off dish and a great way to introduce lentils to meat lovers. It’s a one-pot wonder with all the health benefits of the lentils. If you have a ham bone in your freezer after Christmas, use this here.

Gently warm a saucepan and then add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. On a medium heat, add the onion and celery, season with a little salt, and then cook on a medium heat until nice and soft.

Add the water, the ham hock or bone and the cut head of garlic and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes (If using a ham bone, simmer for an hour) and then add the lentils and cook until just soft.

Remove the ham from the saucepan and, when it’s cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and cut it into bite-size pieces and return it to the pot. Serve.