Moroccan Pork and Lentils…

Have you ever had a cuisine stuck in your head even though you’ve never tried it? I have, and it’s Moroccan. Something about the flavors involved in Moroccan food appeal to me: lemons, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, curried flavors, etc. Again, I’ve never eaten Moroccan food, that I know of. However, my long craving was about to be solved.

I had some pork shoulder and made a Moroccan spice rub. I then tossed it into the slow cooker and let it simmer away when I was out of the house all day. Then when I was at Whole Foods, I saw lentils there. I’ve only eaten lentils at restaurants, never at home. Now was the time to try it out.

Lentils are very healthy. I had known about their super-food status for awhile, but it just doesn’t register to a typical American at the store “hmm, think I’m out of lentils”.

When possible, use bone-in shoulder for extra flavor. It will be very easy to remove anyways. That piece literally was scooped out of the pot with my spoon.

The verdict: Moroccan food isn’t the most vibrantly colored, but it sure is good! The curried lentils were soft and creamy, with a bit of crunch. The pork was pretty mild, but that lets the spices and pork combine for flavor, rather than have the spices overpower the meat.

Moroccan Spice Rub

1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin
1 T chile powder
1 T brown sugar
1 1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t cinnamon, ground
1/2 t caraway, ground
1/2 t black pepper, ground

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Coat on your meat (pork, lamb, chicken, etc).

I cooked my pork in the slow cooker on low for 10 hours.

Curried Lentils

2 T olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t garam masala
1 1/2 t curry powder
2 c lentils
4 c liquid (I used 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup water)
1 bay leaf, whole

On medium in a saute pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute for 5-7 minutes until they sweat. Add garlic, masala, and curry powder, stirring for another minute. Add broth, lentils, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes, partially covered.

Taste for doneness after. They should be soft enough to bite into, but not mushy. Season with salt/pepper.

*next up…Portuguese Kale Soup…*

 

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