Smoked Bacon Lentil Ragout
The Waterfont Centre has a marvellous herb garden and was the second hotel in Canada to have its own bee hives. When Dana Hauser worked there she was the first female executive chef in the entire Fairmont chain. She served this fabulous dish at the hotel restaurant, then named Heron’s with pan-seared Qualicum bay scallops.
- 4 slices double smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large carrots small diced
- 1 rib celery small diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lb green dry lentils, rinsed in cold water
- 1 litre chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, with a little extra for garnish
- 1 cup dry red wine or dry sherry
Heat a large, thick-bottomed pot (6 to 8 quart) on medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until much of the fat has rendered out and the bacon is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Add the carrots, onions, celery, stirring frequently, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan, cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant. Deglaze with red wine or dry sherry.
Add the rinsed lentils, stock, thyme, bay leaf. Add a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. You will season more to taste later. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook partially covered until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Correct seasoning if necessary.