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
400g dried green lentils
3 tbsp crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1. 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.
2. Remove the aromatics with a slotted spoon. Add the green lentils to the pan and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until tender.
3. 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.
4. 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.