Sautéed Sea Scallop with Smoked Ham Hock and French Lentils

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Serves 6
1 smoked ham hock
1 quart chicken stock
1 carrot, peeled, cut into chunks
2 stocks celery, cut into chunks
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs parsley
1 dried bay leaf
1 clove
4 peeled garlic cloves
10 peppercorns lightly crushed
1 cup French lentils
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 large sea scallops
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place ham hock in a pot with stock and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and place in preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour. After one hour, add to the pot clove, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, garlic cloves, and peppercorns. Cook for another hour then remove from oven. Remove hock from pot and set aside. Strain stock and return to the pot. Add lentils and cook covered, on medium heat, until tender. Strain the liquid from the lentils into a separate, clean bowl. Set the lentils
aside in a small pot with tablespoon of butter. Mix the barbecue sauce into the strained liquid and gently reduce it to the consistency of cream. Pick the meat from the hock and set aside in a bowl with a little lentil and barbecue sauce to be reheated.

Heat a sauté pan with vegetable oil until very hot. Season scallops with salt and pepper and place in pan without touching. Cook for 2 minutes on high heat without moving scallops. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and cook an additional 2 minutes while using a spoon to baste the top of the scallops with the butter, then remove the pan from the heat. To assemble, reheat the lentils and toss the hock meat until heated and glazed. Place the lentils in a warm, shallow bowl and top with the scallops, seared side up. Top the scallops with hock meat and spoon sauce around the lentils.

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