Georgia’s peppered and braised shoulder of lamb with flageolet beans
- October 2018
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 1 hour, simmering time up to 2 hours 20 min, oven time 1 hour, plus overnight soaking
”I first cooked this 24 years ago to celebrate my daughter Georgia’s first birthday. Since then it has been served over the years with many variations.
With this month’s darker colder evenings, the spicy warmth of the pepper keeps chills away. The irony is that Georgia can’t bear a stew, even one with her name” – Henry Harris
- 45.7g (21.5g saturated)
- 57.1g (16.8g sugars)
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1.5kg British lamb shoulder, boned and diced into 2cm cubes (ask for the bones)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 4 onions, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 4 bay leaves
- 750ml bottle red wine
- 125g good black olives, pitted
- Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
For the beans
- 750g dried flageolet beans, soaked overnight in plenty of water
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 leek, finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Large fresh rosemary sprig
- 500ml whipping cream
You’ll also need…
- Large, deep, ovenproof frying pan
- For the beans, drain the soaking water and put the beans in a large saucepan, then cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil, skimming any scum from the surface with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat, simmer for 10 minutes more, then drain.
- Rinse out the pan and return the beans, cover with hot water and bring back to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours until soft. Drain and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Crush the peppercorns coarsely in a pestle and mortar. Season the lamb with the pepper, pressing it into the meat, then sprinkle with salt. Heat a splash of vegetable oil in the frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the meat in batches until browned all over, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add another splash of vegetable oil to the pan and add the onions, carrot, leeks and tomato purée. Cook gently for 10 minutes until almost soft, stirring to deglaze the pan (scraping up any lamby flavours). Turn up the heat and cook until the vegetables are lightly browned.
- Add the garlic to the pan and, 30 seconds later, add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes to reduce the liquid content by at least half.
- Add the red wine (and lamb bones if you have them), bring back to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, then transfer the pan to the oven, uncovered, for about 1 hour or until the lamb is tender.
- About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, finish the beans. Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and gently fry the carrot, onion, leek, celery, garlic and rosemary for 15 minutes, then add the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the beans and season to taste.
- Remove the pan from the oven (lift out the bones, if using, and discard). Gently stir in the olives. Taste and season. Stir the parsley into the lamb and serve with the beans.
Ask your butcher to dice the lamb for you – 850g-1kg meat, plus the bones.
Depending on their age, beans can take anything from 1 to 2 hours to soften. Keep checking so they don’t overcook.
You need to start this recipe a day before as the beans need to soak overnight in plenty of water before cooking.
Cool, cover and chill the braised lamb for up to 2 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then warm through in a hot oven to serve.
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