French Peasant Supper: Pork, Cabbage, and Lentils

Sunset, November 1984 | Go to article overview

French Peasant Supper: Pork, Cabbage, and Lentils


The French favor cabbage with pork in country foods. In Alsace, choucroute garnie combines cabbage and sauerkraut with an assortment of smoked pork and sausages. In Provence, a less well-known variation replaces the sauerkraut with lentils simmered in a cinnamon-spiced sauce with tomato.

Through this whole-meal dish is indeed peasant fare, it makes an attractive presentation for casual entertaining. With a sturdy bread and a robust red wine, a green salad and a favorite dessert, this menu will satisfy six to eight vigorous appetities.

Look for coteghino sausage in markets or delicatessens specializing in Italian foods; as an alternative, you can use mild or hotly seasoned Italian sausage. Provence Boiled Dinner 1 coteghino sausage (1 to 1-1/4 lb.) or 1 to 1-1/4 pounds Italian sausages 2 pounds ham hocks, cracked About 3-1/2 quarts water 1 large onion, sliced 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks 1 large carrot, cut into chunks 3 chicken bouillon cubes 12 whole black peppers 1 bay leaf Cinnamon-spiced lentils (directions follow) 1 smoked pork loin (about 4-1/2 lb.) or 8 smoked pork chops, each cut at least 1/2 inch thick 1 medium-size head (about 3 lb.) Savoy cabbage

Remove casing from coteghino sausage, if necessary. (If using Italian sausages, cook them later, as directed.) In a 6- to 8-quart pan, combine coteghino sausage with the ham hocks, 3 quarts of the water, onion, celery, carrot, bouillon cubes, peppers, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until ham hocks are very tender when pierced, about 1-1/2 hours.

Lift out ham hocks and sausage and put in a rimmed pan (at least 10 by 15 in.). Cover tightly and keep warm in a 200[deg.] oven for as long as 2 hours. …

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