Slow-braised lamb with polenta and green beans
- September 2006
- 1 boned shoulder of lamb, about 1.6kg, trimmed of excess fat
- 25g plain flour, seasoned
- 25g butter
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 600ml dry white wine
- 300ml passata
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 300ml lamb or chicken stock, hot
- 2 large red peppers
- 2 large orange or yellow peppers
- Fresh flatleaf parsley sprigs, to sprinkle
For the mild garlic green beans
- 6 large unpeeled garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 25g butter
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 700g fine green beans, trimmed
- For the cheesy polenta
200g quick-cook polenta
- 60g butter
- 125g Grana Padano, finely grated
- Cut the lamb into 75g pieces and toss, a few at a time, in the seasoned flour until well coated. Shake off and reserve the excess flour.
- Heat the butter and oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the lamb, in batches, until well browned. Return the lamb to the pan with the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the reserved flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the wine and cook over a high heat until it has reduced by about a third. Stir in the passata, bay leaves, hot stock and a little seasoning. Part-cover the casserole and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lamb is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Put the peppers onto a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes. Seal in a plastic food bag and leave to cool, then remove and discard the stalks, skin and seeds and cut the flesh into wide strips.
- While the peppers are roasting, prepare the garlic green beans. First, cook the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pan of boiling water for 10-15 minutes or until very tender. Drain, cool slightly then peel and mash on a board with the blade of a large knife until smooth. Scoop the garlic paste into a small bowl and set aside.
- For the polenta, bring 1.25 litres of water to the boil in a medium pan. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter for the beans in a large pan over a gentle heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Stir in the garlic paste.
- Slowly pour the polenta into the boiling water, stirring all the time, and bring to a simmer. Leave to cook gently, stirring constantly for a few minutes, until very thick and less grainy. Meanwhile, cook the beans in another pan of boiling water for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain well, add to the pan with the shallots and garlic and toss together. Stir the butter, cheese and some salt into the polenta, then divide between 6 serving plates.
- Uncover the lamb and remove the bay leaves. Stir in the roasted pepper strips and season. Simmer briefly to heat through, then sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with the cheesy polenta and mild garlic green beans.
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