Lentils and Carne

Christine Whisenhunt


My aunt is from Panama. This is a dish that she taught me. The first time she made it for me she had to convince me to try it. I had never had lentils before and they are not very appetizing to look at. LOL It's not the prettiest dish in the world, but it is packed with WOW flavor! The way the meat is cooked and then the lentils, put over some steamed white rice...MMMMMMMM!!!! Though they each have amazing flavor on their own, the secret is to put them all together and eat it together. I have tweeked this some from the way she taught me, but it's nearly the same. I use a couple different seasonings and not as much salt, but that's okay because the key to this dish is really the veggies and sauce. If you're brave enough to try it, I know you'll love it! Everyone does. I have made several lentil converts with this dish! LOL This does take a little time, but it is soooooo worth it! It's not as hard as it looks, I promise! I hope you try it! Enjoy!

Note: This is the pic I took after I made it today. I usually let the meat and veggies cook down more so that the veggies break down more and the sauce is thicker, but I was hungry and couldn't wait! LOL It was still deeeelish!!!!

pinch tips: How to Use a Meat Thermometer



4-6 servings.


30 Min


1 Hr 30 Min



3-4 lb
sirloin medallions 1/4 inch thick, or carne meat if you can't find the sirloin
season all seasoning (enough to coat meat very well)
red bell peppers, sliced (or orange or yellow, but not green! green will completely change the flavor.)
2 large
yellow onions, sliced in rings and separated
1 large
can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 can(s)
(14 1/2 oz./ea) diced tomatoes
heaping tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp
dried oregano (optional, it gives it a little something, but if you don't use it you won't miss it)
1-2 Tbsp
celery salt, adjust to your taste
1 Tbsp
black pepper


1 pkg
dried lentils
1 small
yellow onion, sliced
1-2 Tbsp
celery salt , adjust to your taste
1/2 Tbsp
black pepper
6 c


2-3 c
white rice, cooked according to package directions

Directions Step-By-Step

In a VERY large and deep skillet, put just enough olive oil to keep the meat from sticking while it cooks. Coat meat VERY well, excessively even, on both sides with season all seasoning and brown meat on both sides, cooking until just cooked through. This will not take long since the meat is so thin. Remove meat as it finishes cooking. When all meat is done, put the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic, seasonings into the pan and stir well. Return meat to pan and settle it down into the sauce. Cover with the onions and peppers and continue to cook, covered, over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice. Then, continue to cook another 20-30 minutes uncovered, until meat is very tender and veggies have become very soft and sauce thickens a little. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning. Reduce heat if necessary.
Rinse lentils well and remove any bad beans or rocks you find. Put in a large pan with 6 cups of hot water, onion and seasonings. Cook on high, covered, until begins to boil, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until lentils are tender. They should be done about the same time as your carne if you put them on to cook as soon as you have your carne and sauce together and get it cooking. Add additional hot water as needed. Do not let them dry out; keep them covered in liquid. These take 45 minutes to an hour to cook through.
Once the carne and lentils are well on their way, get your rice going. It should have just enough time to cook and then rest before the rest of your meal is finished. Cook at least 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person.
Note: The best way to eat this is to put some rice on your plate and spread it out, then cover that with some lentils, then put the carne with some veggies and sauce over that. The best bite has a little of each in it! You are not going to believe the flavor this has. It is just bursting with yummy goodness! Enjoy!

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