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Lamb with white beans and garlic

A recipe in The Cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert provided the inspiration for this dish. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

4 onions 1 carrot, coarsely chopped 3 thyme sprigs, plus extra leaves to serve 1 fresh bay leaf 2 cloves 1 cinnamon quill ½ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 400 gm dried cannelini beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained 2 thick pork and red wine sausages, pricked heads garlic, cloves separated 1.5 kg diced lamb shoulder (see note) 2 tbsp olive oil 250 ml dry white wine 400 gm canned cherry tomatoes 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock 10 gm dried mushrooms, such as cèpes or chanterelles, rinsed Thinly peeled rind of ½ orange 6 slices rindless bacon To serve: coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley To serve: pickled walnuts and crusty bread


  • 01
  • Coarsely chop 1 onion, combine in a large saucepan with carrot, herbs and spices, bring to the boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, add beans and simmer for 45 minutes. Add sausage, simmer until beans are tender (15-20 minutes), remove sausage from pan, thickly slice, set aside. Remove onion, carrot, herbs and spices (discard), season bean mixture to taste, cover closely, set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, finely chop 2 garlic cloves, combine in a large bowl with lamb and oil, season to taste and stand for 30 minutes to marinate. Heat a large casserole over high heat, add lamb in batches, turn occasionally until well-browned (4-5 minutes), remove from pan. Thinly slice remaining onion, add to pan, stir occasionally until golden (10-12 minutes). Deglaze with wine, add tomato, stock, mushrooms and orange rind. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low-medium, cover with a tight lid and simmer until very tender (1½-2 hours).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 5½-litre casserole with bacon, overlapping slices. Spoon one-third of bean mixture over bacon with a slotted spoon, then spoon over half the lamb mixture. Add half the sausage and half the remaining garlic, press into lamb mixture, then repeat layering, finishing with beans. Add enough bean liquid to slightly moisten, then bake until surface forms a crust (1-1¼ hours). Serve hot, scattered with parsley and thyme, with pickled walnuts and crusty bread.

Note You may need to order diced lamb shoulder from your butcher.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Spicy red Côtes du Rhône.

Featured in

Jul 2011

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