Bean Recipes

Lentils with Chiles, Pork and Fruit

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  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 pound boneless stewing pork, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 5 small ancho chiles, cleaned of veins and seeds and lightly toasted
  • 1/4 pound tomatoes, broiled
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon shredded Mexican chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon melted safflower oil
  • 1 medium plantain (about 8 ounce), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 thick pineapple slices, peeled, cored, and cut into small triangular wedges


  1. Run the lentils through your hands to make sure there are no stones or other foreign bodies in them. Rinse them in two changes of water and put into a pan. Add onion, salt to taste, and enough water to come about 2 inches above the surface of the lentils. Set over medium heat and bring to a fast simmer. Continue simmering until the lentils are quite soft - about 3 hours, depending on their age. Keep a pan near for boiling water on the side, ready to add if necessary.
  2. Put the pork pieces into a pan; add salt to taste and water to cover. Bring to a fast simmer and continue simmering until the pork is tender but not soft, about 25 minutes.
  3. Strain, reserving the broth, and set broth and meat aside.
  4. Cover the dried chiles with boiling water and leave to soak for about 15 minutes, until the chiles have softened and become fleshy.
  5. Drain and put into a blender with 1 cup of the reserved pork broth, the broiled tomatoes, garlic, oregano, clove, cinnamon and Mexican chocolate; blend until smooth, adding more broth only if needed to release the blades of the blender.
  6. Spray the Pam in a small frying pan, add the blended ingredients, and sauté over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until reduced and well seasoned, adding more spray if need be, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add to the lentils and add the pork, remaining broth, plantain and pineapple; simmer together for about 30 minutes.
  8. Adjust salt and add water if necessary. The mixture should be like a thick soup.