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meataball lentil stew
Lentil and Meatball Stew

barley shallots
Barley with Shallots

 

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 29, 2013:  Sunday's Recipes

Lentil and Meatball Stew
Barley with Shallots

Cooking time:  45 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      The Lentil and Meatball Stew is for 2 meals.

Lentil and Meatball Stew                                 Preparation and cooking time:  45 minutes
    
This is a hearty, robust stew, full of vegetables and meatballs; perfect for a cold evening.  You can use any kind of lentil for this, but I like a combination.  I cooked the lentils separately from the meatballs - it was easier!

3/4 cup lentils either Lentils du Puy, tan, brown lentils or a combination. 
1/4 cup red or coral lentils
2 1/4 cups beef stock
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
1 rib celery
3 cloves garlic
1 tbs oil
1 tbs paprika, smoky or sweet
1 can whole tomatoes, 15oz (450gr)
1/4 cup red wine
3 bay (laurel) leaves
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
Meatballs

Pick over lentils in case they missed the odd stone.  Put green or brown lentils and beef stock in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until lentils are done.  They should absorb most of the stock.  Don't let them dry out.  Drain any remaining stock when done.
Chop onion, pepper, celery.  Mince garlic.   Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add paprika and sauté 1 minute.  Add onion, pepper and celery, sauté briefly.  Then add garlic, sauté a few minutes longer.   Open and drain tomatoes, reserving juices.  Roughly chop tomatoes.   Add tomatoes, red lentils, all reserved juices, herbs and wine to skillet.  Bring to a boil.  Add meatballs.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until meatballs are done, turning meatballs and stirring sauce periodically, 20 - 25 minutes. 

Meatballs

12oz ground beef (350gr mince)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs ketchup
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano

In medium bowl lightly whisk egg.  Add breadcrumbs, mustard, ketchup, wine and herbs, mix well.  Add beef and mix well.  Form into meatballs, about 1 1/2 " (4cm) in diameter.

To serve: Add drained lentils to meatballs in skillet.  Stir well to combine and serve.

Barley with Shallots                                                 Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
   Barley is a hearty, nutritious grain; easy to cook and flavorful.  I get the quick-cooking barley which takes 15 minutes.  Here it's cooked in beef stock with sautéed shallots for a simple, healthy side dish.

1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef stock (or more, depending on type of barley)
2 shallots
1 tsp marjoram
2 tsp olive oil

Cut shallots in half, through the stem end, and slice.  Heat oil in a small saucepan.  Add shallots and sauté until they start to get tender, about 5 minutes.  Add barley, stock and marjoram; stir to combine.  Cover and simmer until barley is done, about 15 minutes or according to package directions.  Serve.

Cooking Schedule: 45 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet with lid, large bowl, medium saucepan
with lid, small saucepan with lid

Start to cook green / tan lentils
Chop onions, pepper, celery
Sauté paprika
Add onions, pepper, celery, sauté
Mince garlic, sauté
Whisk egg
Add mustard, ketchup, wine, crumbs, herbs, mix
Add beef, mix well

Open tomatoes, chop
Add tomatoes, juices, herbs, red lentils, wine to skillet
Make meatballs
Add meatballs to skillet, bring to a boil
Reduce heat, simmer
Slice shallots, sauté
Add barley, stock, herbs, cover, simmer
Mind the lentils, tidy up the kitchen
Turn the meatballs, stir sauce
    Pause while it all cooks
Remove bay leaves
Drain the lentils, add to meatballs, heat through
Serve