On Saturday evening I had the lovely Phil Dukes over for dinner and Doctor Who, (we watched the series finale for the current season and then followed up with the special, feature-length edition of the Arthurian-themed Sylvester McCoy story Battlefield.) and so I flicked through the Rick Stein cookbook, Long Weekends, and found this tasty recipe. It takes about an hour and a half to cook, so it takes a while, but once it’s simmering in the pan you don’t need to do much to it, apart from the occasional stir to prevent sticking, until you have to add the potatoes and beans near the end.
I used tinned flageolet beans rather than dried, so they only had to be added near the end, and didn’t need the two hours pre-soaking.
225g of dried flageolet beans, or a 400g tin of beans
1kg of lamb shoulder, cut into 3-4cm cubes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
50g of butter
2 onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 carrots, cut into thick slices
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
2 tablespoons of plain flour
600ml of chicken stock
3-4 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1½ teaspoons of fine salt
6 turns of black pepper
12 small new potatoes, scrubbed
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, to serve
If using dried flageolet beans then soak them in cold water overnight. Then, before cooking place in a saucepan of water, bring to the boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for a further 30, before draining and setting aside.
In a large saucepan heat the oil and butter and brown the lamb pieces. (You may need to do this in batches, if so, use a little of the oil and butter for each batch. Also, you may need to deglaze the pan, with a little water or red wine, between batches. If so retain the deglazing liquid for use in the cooking.) Once all of the lamb is browned, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, add any remaining oil and butter to the pan and fry the onions until soft and golden. Then add the garlic, carrots, tomato purée and flour, stir well to combine and fry for another minute.
Return the lamb, and any deglazing liquid, to the pan and add the chicken stock. If using dried flageolet beans then add them now.
Add the thyme and rosemary and season well with the salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook gently, for an hour and a quarter, stirring occasionally.
Whilst the dish is cooking, boil the new potatoes for about 5 minutes or so, and then drain and set aside.
After 1¼ hours and the potatoes . If you are using tinned flageolet beans then add them now. Stir well to combine and cook for a further 15 minutes, until the potatoes, lamb and beans are all tender.
Remove the thyme and rosemary sprigs scatter with the choped parsley and serve.
I served this with wilted spinach.