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Slow-roast lamb shoulder with red wine, garlic, rosemary and haricot beans

Slow-roasting a lamb shoulder works so well because it makes the meat really tender and generates a delicious sauce. Ask your butcher to trim off as much fat as possible from the meat

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26 JANUARY 2011

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1.5kg/3¼lb rolled shoulder of lamb
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised (press down on them with the heel of your hand)
  • 1 large sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 500ml/18fl oz red wine
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 500g/18oz cooked haricot beans (about 2 cans), rinsed and drained

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3. Season the lamb with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish that has a lid and will hold the lamb.

When the oil is hot, brown the joint all over for about 10 minutes, melting any remaining fat on the outside of the meat. Once the lamb is nicely coloured, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Check to see how much melted fat you have: you need about 3 tbsp for the next bit. If there’s a lot more, pour some of it away. If there’s not enough, add a little more olive oil.

Add the chopped onions to the casserole and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and transparent. Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the red wine, tomatoes and some salt and black pepper. Bring the casserole to simmering point, then return the lamb to the dish.

Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 2 hours, giving it a shake and basting the meat from time to time. Remove the casserole from the oven, add the beans and replace the lid. Return to the oven for 30 minutes more until the beans have warmed through and the sauce has thickened. Adjust the seasoning then divide the beans and sauce between 6 plates and top each with a few slices of the lamb.

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