Richly Braised Lentils
Everybody Everyday by Alex Mackay.
I hadn't heard of Alex Mackay before this cookbook landed on my doorstep.
Alex worked in kitchens when he left school at 16, but his career in food really started 15 years ago when Raymond Blanc asked him to run his cookery school, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. He is regularly on tv and spent a decade cooking at Norwich City Football Club with Delia Smith and will take over after her retirement this year.
This is his second cookbook. His first cookbook was called Cooking in Provence.
The recipe I decided to make was one of the basic ingredients, braised lentils. I doubled up the recipe and served my braised lentils with mashed potatoes and peas for a really comforting meal, but I could have used the lentils in the 6 following recipes:
- Stuffed Mushrooms in Puff Pastry, Creamy Porcini & Lentils
- Lentil Chilli with Roast Squash & Sweet & Sour Marmalade
- Lentil Moussaka
- Mackay's Lentil Pie
- Pasta & Vegetables with Lentil Bolognaise
- Lentil Fritters with Roast Beetroot & Hot Camembert Cream
Alex has included a slideshow on his website showing each of these dishes and giving tips for cooking them with children, which I think is a nice touch.
I really do like the concept for this book. It is such a sensible idea, to have a few great recipes under your belt and then add them to other dishes, to make whole new dishes. A great idea for new cooks and a great reminder to the rest of us to do more with our favourite recipes.
Everybody Everyday by Alex Mackay
Vegetarian Recipe Count 28 out of 126 recipes
Vegan Recipe Count 13 out of 126 recipes ( leaving out the suggested addition of yoghurt or cheese
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published: 10 May 2012
Size: 18.9 x 2.8 x 24.6 cm
Richly Braised Lentils
This is one of the basic recipes in Alex Mackay's Everybody Everyday cookbook. Deeply flavoured braised puy lentils that can eaten on their own or added to other dishes.
- 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into 5mm dice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 700ml plus 2 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 375ml gutsy red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 250g puy or French lentils
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- a good grinding of salt and pepper
- a generous pinch of sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 170c/150c fan/325f/gas mark 3.2. Start with the onions. Get a large ovenproof pan. Add the onions, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp of water. Cover the pan and put it on a medium heat. Sweat for 7-10 minutes until the onions and garlic are soft, adding an extra 2 tbsp of water if they start to dry out. Take the lid off.3. Add the tomato puree. Turn the heat to high. Fry, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, watching carefully, until the tomato puree is lightly browned. When it smells like sun-dried tomatoes, it's ready.4. Add the red wine and lentils. Bring to the boil and boil until the wine has reduced by half. Add the tinned tomatoes, bay leaves and the 700ml water. Boil for 5 minutes.5. Cover the pan and put in the oven. Braise the lentils for 30 minutes. Take of the lid. Braise for a further 30 minutes, stirring twice, or until the lentils are tender but still holding their shape.6. When the lentils are cooked, the liquid should be thick and just at the level of the lentils. If there is too much liquid, boil for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, sugar and pepper. Cover the pan tightly and leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow the lentils to soak up the seasonings.
Yield: Serves 2