Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils

French food. Hmm.
Do we go "fancy"? Do we go rustic?


Lentils, I would think, are rustic food. Of course, being from another town of rustic, we never see lentils much on our dining table. The only time I've eaten Puy lentils, I was served them in a French bistro -- hence, "fancy."

I bought some French Puy lentils thinking it would be good to have them on a cool, blustery night.

I've been seeing slow-roasted pork bellies served with lentils around. Bringing my favourite cut of pork to eat with some fancy-rustic French lentils seem like a very proper dinner, fitting for a welcome-home get-together we planned for a voyager-cousin.

Roast Pork Belly

I've been trying to improve my crispy pork belly method (first seen here) because I really, really, really want that crackling skin with still soft-and-tender meat. I hoped that slow-roasting was the way to go.

First, I rubbed the pork belly pieces with some salt, crushed black peppercorns, and crushed coriander seeds. I placed them on a rack with celery, onion, and carrots.

I pricked the skin using toothpicks and roasted them in a 250F oven for about 3 hours.

The smell coming from the oven was delightful.

Image of belly pricking from our previous Roast Pork Belly post.

I wasn't there for this fun poke-poke-poke... poke... poke-poke... poke part.

After the 3 hours, I checked on the pork bellies and I was feeling trepidatious when I felt the the still-uncrispy skin. Crossing my fingers, I put them back into the oven and turned up the heat to 450F for about 20 minutes.

A mountain of pork belly. If only.

When I took them out the second time, I was heartened when I saw the blistery skin. When I finally sliced them up, I was delighted by the sound of the crackling skin and the tenderness of the meat.

Puy Lentils with Lemon Vinaigrette

For the lentils, it was as easy as can be. I had always thought lentils were hard to prepare but all they needed was about 30 minutes to boil and simmer and then they were done. (Ratio I used was 1 cup lentils: 2 cups water.)

I made a generic French-inspired vinaigrette with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, capers, and red onions (they should've been shallots for that extra French-ness).

I just added more Dijon mustard to the dressed lentils, because using Dijon mustard always makes me feel more French.

Et voilà!

[eatingclub] vancouver French food:
Trout Grenobloise
Provençal Onion Tart
Pork Chops with Grainy Dijon and Capers
Prawns with Tarragon and Orange
Herbes de Provence Sablé
Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce

Blazing Hot WokWe're submitting this to Regional Recipes, a blogging event created by Blazing Hot Wok that celebrates food from all over the world.

The region for this edition is France. The round-up will be hosted by Susan of Open Mouth, Insert Fork.

Regional Recipes information

Our Regional Recipes posts:
Greek Meatball Soup (Giouvarlakia)
Simmered Saba Mackerel with Daikon Radish (Saba Oroshi-ni)
Thai Fried Chicken
Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils
Beef "Ribbon" Kebab (Pasanda Kabab) with Cilantro Chutney
Canadian Onion Soup with Oka Cheese
Börek with Beef Filling
Korean Pork Bulgogi (with Muu Namul, Kong Namul)
Lobster Congee from a Lobster Feast
Pork Jowl (Pork Cheeks) with Brown Sugar Rub
Beef Salpicao
Cuban Arroz con Salchichas (Yellow Rice with Vienna Sausages)
Cuban Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso (Guava and Cheese Pastries)
Vietnamese Spring Roll (Cha Gio)
Grilled Fish Fillet on Oregano
Pastéli (Greek Sesame Snaps)


  1. Nice one guys! If we weren't "in" france, I'd open my secret stash of Sarsa ng Lechon, heh heh :) Kidding! You have far more patience than I. I would have buckled down the first time and dumped it skin-down into the fryer in my frustration.

  2. Oh, pork belly! So wonderful with crispy skin! Great job on that.

    The dish sounds wonderfully hearty. It's the type of French food I prefer.

  3. Crispy pork skin! Oh yes, please!

  4. ah... pork belly! always a pleasure.

    and I'm thinking maybe the addition of lentils makes this a healthy dish, no?

  5. Hmmm I can smell that pork cooking in the oven. It is making me hungry! Great dish!

  6. my oh my!!!! i just tried roasting a tiny piece of pork belly before...i shall try with a bigger piece next time.

    but it is sooo tempting to just purchase it from a shop just below my flat T_T

  7. Thanks guys! 5:00 here in California, I just woke up and am now drooling for lechon kawali! By the way, I cook mung beans the same way...but I use chicharon.

  8. Love the cracklin!

    I am still on the hunt for good belly recipes. This looks promising.

  9. yum! looks perfectly roasted with crispy skin =D

  10. Manggy:
    You forget,though, that we are quite lazy when talk of deep-frying comes up. =)

    They should package just the crispy skin and sell it! Oh wait, they do! =)

    We considered doing something nouvelle cuisine-ish for about half a second and dismissed it. Haha.

    Yeah, I think this is definitely a healthy dish! =) But you're right, with the lentils, it really feels healthy!

    Thanks! The lentils worked really great with the pork.

    Mochachocolata Rita:
    Lucky. See, it's just downstairs for you! Ours would be about a 20 minute drive!

    Haha, you wake up too early for this type of food. ;)

    Tell us how it goes for you.


  11. Woh, How to resist from this delicious BBQ Pork Belly? ^^

  12. Every time I see pork belly my heart goes pit-a-pat in glee. Oh pork belly how I love thee...

  13. Nice technique for slowly cooking pork belly. The skin perfectly crisp.

  14. dolphing:
    Sweet Bird:
    Js keeps buying pork belly now. I told her not to buy it so often! =D

    Thankfully it worked!

  15. This sounds good. I have been wanting to try pork belly.

  16. Kevin:
    Can't wait to see all the different things you would do with pork belly!


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