- 1.35kg ham hock, soaked overnight in cold water
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 celery sticks, cut into pieces
- 1.2 litres ham or chicken stock
- 600ml apple juice
- Few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Few fresh parsley stalks, plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to serve
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 peppercorns
- 400g dried green lentils
- 3 tbsp crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Place the ham hock in a pan with the vegetables, liquids, herbs and peppercorns and season well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 1½ hours or until the meat is really tender. Remove the hock from the liquid and set aside.
- Remove the aromatics with a slotted spoon. Add the green lentils to the pan and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until tender.
- Meanwhile, skin the ham hock and shred the meat from the bones. Stir the crème fraîche and lemon zest into the lentils and return the ham to the pan and reheat.
- Serve with the parsley scattered over and an extra blob of crème fraîche if you like.
- Stick to a red that’s smooth and reasonably light, such as Côtes-du-Rhône. Cider or a decent English pale ale would also be good.