As mentioned in a previous post (see Venezuelan New Year's Eve traditions), if you want more money during the incoming year, you have to eat lentils as part of your New Year's eve dinner! Well at least that is what my family believes! We have been eating lentils on New Year's eve for as long as I can remember. My mother always cook them, but this time it is my turn so I am sharing with you my version with bacon!! Everything taste better with bacon, right?
- 5 slices of bacon chopped
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 4 or 5 garlic cloves ( I like garlic - put less if you do not!)
- 1/2 green pepper chopped
- 1 aji dulce (optional) (I cannot find these in the US, next year I am growing them in my garden)
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 cup of lentils
- 3 cups of water
- Cumin, salt and pepper to taste
Chop the onions very small, also chop the peppers, aji and cut the bacon in small pieces.
In a pot, put the onions and the bacon on medium heat. As the bacon cooks it will release bacon fat and the onions will cook on it (so no need for oil). Add the peppers and crushed garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and bacon is browned.
Wash a cup of lentils and strain them. Add the washed lentils to the bacon and onion pot, add the water, the stock cube, cover and let it boil on medium low heat until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Keep and eye on the pot, if it is too dry add a little water and of it is too watery increase the heat so the water evaporates. You can customize how runny you want them. Taste them and add cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
The lentils taste better after a day in the fridge, so I always cook them the day before I will serve them. Just keep them refrigerated at all times.
Other variations: Instead of bacon, you can use any pork meat you like. I have done some with pork belly, sausages, cured ham and some people use pig feet (I am not a fan though)
I hope you enjoy this dish tomorrow and that you also get lots of money.... Also please remember this dish is also yummy at any time a year.