Crispy lamb with lemony flageolet beans and roast tomatoes

Crispy lamb with lemony flageolet beans and roast tomatoes
  • Serves icon Serves 4 with lamb leftovers
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 4½-5½ hours, plus soaking

Naomi Devlin’s slow-cooked lamb crisped in a pan and scattered over soft, lemony beans is the sort of thing people fight over. There’ll be lamb left over so freeze it for next time.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
530kcals
Fat
28.1g (9.6g saturated)
Protein
55.5g
Carbohydrates
12.1g (6.8g sugars)
Fibre
3g
Salt
3.6g
Calories
530kcals
Fat
28.1g (9.6g saturated)
Protein
55.5g
Carbohydrates
12.1g (6.8g sugars)
Fibre
3g
Salt
3.6g

Ingredients

  • 200g dried flageolet beans 
  • 2 tsp sea salt, plus extra to season
  • 6-7 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2kg British lamb shoulder 
  • 400g cherry tomatoes, on the vine
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp chicken, bacon or duck fat or lard
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 50g preserved lemons, rind only, chopped
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Method

  1. Put the beans in a bowl, cover with cold water, stir in the salt and leave overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Put half the rosemary in a roasting tin, put the lamb on top and scatter over the remaining rosemary. Pour a little water into the tin, sprinkle the lamb with salt, cover with foil, then roast for 4-5 hours until the meat is soft and tender. Remove the foil, turn up the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas 6 and roast for another 20-30 minutes until the fat is crisp and golden. 
  3. Roast the tomatoes for the last hour of the lower oven temperature. To do this, put the tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until they’re soft and starting to colour.
  4. Meanwhile, drain the beans, put them into a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and return to the pan with the garlic and bay leaves. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil again and simmer until the beans are tender (about 40 minutes). Drain, reserving the garlicky flageolet beans and cooking water separately. Discard the bay leaves.
  5. Melt the fat in an ovenproof pan and sauté the onion gently for about 20 minutes. Add the garlicky beans and fry gently until they start to catch a little (about 10 minutes), then loosen with reserved cooking water to make a creamy mixture. Off the heat, stir in the lemon rind, then transfer to the still-warm oven.
  6. Tear 4 small handfuls of lamb into bite-size pieces. Put a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and cook the lamb (without oil) for about 3-4 minutes per batch until crisp all over. Spoon the beans onto plates, then top with crispy lamb and nestle the tomatoes and a lemon quarter alongside. Serve with steamed broccoli or greens.

Recipe is from Naomi Devlin’s cookbook Food for a Happy Gut (£20, Headline).

delicious. tips

  1. The beans can be soaked and boiled up to 48 hours in advance. Alternatively use 2 x 400g tins flageolet beans, drained and rinsed – skip steps 1 and 4, and add the garlic, bay leaves and a little cold water in step 5.

  2. Flageolet beans are relatively easy to digest for a pulse, so this is a good entry-level dish if you’re expanding your soluble fibre repertoire. Start with a small portion.

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