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Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder with White Beans and Salsa Verde Mayonnaise

MAIN DISHES / SLOW COOKED / SPRING / EASTER

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 4)

For the lamb

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra to finish
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5kg shoulder of lamb, boned and rolled
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée
  • 125ml red wine
  • 1 litre good chicken stock
  • salsa verde mayonnaise (see separate recipe)

For the beans

  • 150g dried white beans
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped (about 5mm)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 150g baby spinach leaves, roughly shredded
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

This is a favourite of head chef Gaven Fuller: “A lovely, rustic, slow-cooked and warming stew that really showcases the lamb. IT does involve a little time, as the meat needs to go in the oven first, so that the fat melts through it and it becomes incredibly tender, then its cooking liquid is used to simmer the beans, so that they soak up all its flavour – but it’s well worth it. Sometimes people think of shoulder of lamb as a “man’s dish”, quite heavy and butch, but this is quite light, the salsa verde mayonnaise gives it a real zing – and it seems to be popular with everyone.”

Serves 4

 

METHOD

DIFFICULTY: Medium 24 HRS

Mix 2 tablespoons of the oil with the garlic, thyme and salt and pepper and then rub all over the lamb. Leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Soak the beans in cold water overnight, too, then drain.

The next day, preheat the oven to 160 °C/gas 3.

Heat the rest of the oil in a casserole (one that has a lid), put in the lamb and brown on all sides, then lift out and keep to one side. Add the carrots, onion and leek and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened but are not coloured.

Add the tomato purée and the red wine and bubble up to reduce the liquid by half. Return the lamb to the casserole, add the stock, and pour in enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a simmer, cover and put into the preheated oven for about 3 hours, until the lamb is very tender.

Lift out the lamb from the casserole and keep to one side (reserving the cooking liquid).

To cook the beans, heat the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. When it’s foaming, add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the carrot and the drained white beans and strain in the reserved cooking liquid from the lamb. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender (you may need to top up with a little water).

Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs and chopped spinach. Taste and season as necessary.

Return the cooked lamb to the pan over a low heat until heated through.

To serve, lift out the lamb and slice into 4. Spoon the beans and sauce into a warmed, shallow serving dish or platter. Arrange the lamb on top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with a bowl of salsa verde mayonnaise.

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