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LOCATION: Recipes >> Casserole Recipes >> Ham 01

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Ham Casserole

2 cup washed lentils
6 cup water
2-1/2 to 3 lbs meat cut into chunks: homemade, Italian or Polish sausages
and/or pork shoulder butt, ham, country spareribs, or lamb shoulder
2/3 cup mirepoix (1/2 cup each finely diced carrot, onion, and celery
cooked until tender in 3 Tbsp butter or oil)
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup red or white wine, or dry white French Vermouth
1-1/2 cup ham stock, meat stock, or canned beef bouillon
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp thyme or oregano
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp minced shallots or scallions
3 Tbsp minced parsley
1/4 cup fresh white bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook the lentils very slowly in water
for about 30 minutes, until barely tender. Drain. Meanwhile, dry
the chunks of meat in paper towels, spread in a roasting pan, and
brown in the upper-middle level of a preheated oven for 25 to 30
minutes, turning the meat and basting occasionally with accumulated
fat and juices from the pan. Prepare the mirepoix also, and when
done, blend in the flour, cook slowly, stirring, for 2 minutes,
and remove from heat; beat in the wine, then the stock, and simmer
5 minutes, add the herbs to this sauce, and correct seasoning.

Choose a baking dish such as a 9- by 12-inch oval 2 inches deep,
and butter it lightly. Fold the lentils and sauce together, and
spread in the baking dish. Arrange the browned meat on top, pushing
the pieces into the lentils. Pour fat from roasting pan into a
small bowl, and deglaze pan with a little wine or bouillon (pour
in the liquid, set over heat, and scrape coagulated meat juices
into liquid with a wooden spoon, boiling rapidly until liquid is
syrupy); pour over the meat. Season meat lightly with salt and
pepper; sprinkle the shallots or scallions, parsley, and bread
crumbs over all. Baste with 2 spoonfuls of fat reserved from the
roasting pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. About 40 minutes before serving, set
in upper-middle level of oven, until sauce is thick and bubbling
hot, and crumbs are nicely browned.


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