Puy Lentils with Bacon and Beer

1/4 lb bacon (about 4 strips), diced; plus 2 extra strips, cooked separately until crisp and crumbled (for garnish)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 lb (16 oz) French green (Puy) lentils
4 cups chicken broth
2 stalks of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems
2 TB beer (I used Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale.)
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or sauce pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the lentils and thyme leaves and cook for about 1 minute, stirring.
  4. Add the broth and mix well. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are tender and liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  5. While lentils are simmering, cook the 2 extra strips of bacon separately in a frying pan until well browned and crisp.
  6. In the last few minutes of cooking the lentils, add a few splashes of beer (about 2 TB) to the pot.
  7. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and serve, topped with crumbled bacon.
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