Yield: 3 quarts – or – 3 liters
Estimated Time of Cooking: No more than an hour
12 ounces – Lentils*
1 ounce – Bacon, chopped
8 ounces – Onions, minced
8 ounces – Leeks, finely diced
8 ounces – Carrots, finely diced
8 ounces – Celery, finely diced
2 – Garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces – Tomato paste
3 pints – Chicken stock, boiling
1/2 teaspoon – Salt
1/8 teaspoon – White pepper, ground
1 – Sachet d’épices
2 fluid ounces – Sherry wine vinegar
4 fluid ounces – Riesling wine
6 fluid ounces – Fond de Veau Lié or Vegetarian Demi-glace
*NOTE: French lentils are recommended because they tend to hold their shape better than other kinds, preventing the sauce from becoming too thick. Other lentils may be used, however. Red lentils cook very rapidly and should be carefully watched to avoid overcooking.
**NOTE: If desired, add caraway seeds and lemon zest to the standard sachet.
If a vegetarian version of this recipe is desired, replace the bacon with ½ ounce of olive oil, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and use vegetarian demi-glace.
- Render the bacon. Add the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cover the pot and sweat until ingredients are tender and translucent.
- Add the tomato paste; sauté until it takes on a rusty color and has a sweet aroma.
- Add the lentils, stock, salt, pepper, and sachet. Simmer until the lentils are tender (approximately 45 minutes).
- Remove and discard the sachet.
- Taste the sauce and adjust with the vinegar, wine, and fond de veau lié or demi-glace.
- The sauce may be used or properly cooled and stored for up to 1 week under refrigeration. Return refrigerated sauce to a full boil before using.