Lamb shoulder with cannellini beans and a crumb crust
This lamb dish is given an Italian accent by the rosemary and cannellini beans.
Photo: Marina Oliphant
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- 300g cannellini beans, soaked overnight
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 shoulder lamb, boned and cut into 4cm cubes
- 1/2 cup good-quality tomato pasta sauce
- 2 cups veal or chicken stock
- sea salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- large sprig rosemary
- fresh breadcrumbs
Drain soaked beans. Cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer 30 minutes. Drain again.
Preheat oven to 160C.
Select a heavy-based frying pan and a lidded casserole. Tip the drained beans into the casserole. Heat one-third of the oil in the frying pan and sautee carrot, onion and garlic until softened. Scoop into casserole, leaving behind any excess oil. Brown the lamb well in batches, dribbling in the rest of the oil as needed. Transfer to the casserole dish.
Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and deglaze it over moderate heat with the tomato pasta sauce. Allow to bubble and then transfer to casserole with the stock and the herbs. Add a little salt and some freshly ground pepper.
Cover with a doubled sheet of baking paper and a well-fitting lid and cook for 3 hours. Taste for seasoning, adjust and then cool. When cool, remove fat from the casserole, reserving 2 tablespoons.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Scatter over a good layer of fresh breadcrumbs, drizzle with the reserved fatty juices and slowly reheat, uncovered.
Part-way through the reheating process, press the crumbs down lightly so they are moistened with juice and continue the reheating until the juices are bubbling at the edge and the crust is golden.