Muchas gracias to today’s guest poster, Marc of No Recipes, who greatly underestimates the size of his corner of blogscurity.  His post, appropriately, is about pork.

When Michelle asked me if I could guest blog, I was thrilled to have a chance to crawl out from my little corner of blogscurity and craft a riotous witty fun post for you all (who am I kidding, I can’t possibly hope to be as entertaining as Michelle). I was also pretty excited at the prospect of being able to lift the self imposed censorship involved with having a PG-13 rated blog (I think I make too many food fornication references to get a G rating).

I happened to have some green lentils soaking overnight, so I figured I should do something with them. Being humble legumes, lentils aren’t the most exciting ingredients to cook with, so I asked myself WWMD (What Would Michelle Do)? The thought process went something like this:

“PORK!….no no no…. pork BELLY!……even better…… SMOKED pork belly! Yea… That would fucking rock!”

As luck would have it, I had a thick slab of molasses smoked pork belly sitting in the fridge from last weekend’s sausage fest (no, not that kind of sausage fest!).

This dish is somewhere between really good baked beans and masoor dal; spicy and smokey, with an ass whoopin’ shit-ton of umami. I gussied it up with a chiffonade of ramps, but feel free to use anything green to keep it from looking like a byproduct of a horse with the shits.

Smoked Pork Belly with Lentils

2 tsp oil
1 large onion minced
2 cups rehydrated green lentils (about 1 c. dry)
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1lbs. smoked pork belly cut into 1/3″ thick sticks
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
salt to taste

Add the oil to a large saucepan and saute the onions over medium low heat until it smells very sweet and has a medium brown color. This will take about 20 minutes, but it’s worth waiting for. Through the miracles of a Maillard reaction, the amino acids and sugars rearrange themselves creating new compounds that will give the lentils some much needed flavour.

Add everything else, partially cover with the lid (to let steam escape) and simmer over medium low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are tender (about 45 minutes). If there is no liquid left and the lentils are still hard, add more stock and continue cooking.

Garnish with cilantro, ramps, or greenery of your choice. Serve with flatbread.