Slow roasted lamb with butterbeans

This takes a while to cook, but it’s definitely worth it when the lamb is falling off the bone and melting in your mouth! Serve with crushed new potatoes or mash and fried Greens.

Serves 6

The Ingredients:

  1. 1 shoulder of lamb, bone in (about 2.2kg)
  2. Salt and pepper
  3. 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  4. Olive oil
  5. 2 big carrots, finely chopped
  6. 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  7. 1 leek, finely chopped
  8. 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  9. 3 sprigs of rosemary
  10. 3 sprigs of thyme
  11. 2 bay leaves
  12. 1 small bunch of parsley, plus a handful more, for sprinkling
  13. 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes
  14. 300ml red wine
  15. 300ml chicken stock
  16. 3 x 400ml tins of butter beans, rinsed and drained
  17. Zest of 1 lemon

The Method:

  1. Preheat the oven 160C. Rub the lamb with salt and pepper. Use a knife to make ~12 cuts in the skin and insert 1/4 cloves of garlic – 3 cloves in all.
  2. Heat a splash of olive oil on the hob in a roasting tin. Brown the lamb – this will take about 15 minutes. This adds colour now, as it won’t really brown in the oven. Remove from the tin.
  3. Add chopped vegetables and leftover garlic to the tin with herbs and cook (medium heat) for 5 minutes. Give it an occasional stir until they start to soften; add more oil if needed. Add tomatoes, wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Add the lamb, skin down, on top. Cover the entire tin with foil (seal it properly) and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
  4. Remove from the over, stir in the beans and turn over the lamb, (skin up). With the foil back on it needs 2 more hours in the oven. By which time the meat will be tender and easily pulled from the bone.
  5. Remove the foil, and cook uncovered for half an hour to brown the top a little. Spoon off the fat, add seasoning and stir well. Garnish with chopped parsley, plus the zest of the lemon (grated).

Chicken, Red Wine & Bacon Casserole

The Casserole is named after the dish it is cooked in that shares the same name and harks back to the 1950s, but this type of cooking goes back much further with loads of variations from Lancashire Hotpot and Shepherds Pie to Cassoulet and Timballo.

Ingredients (

  • 4 drumsticks
  • 4 wings
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g back bacon – smoked and diced
  • 2 level tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Half a bottle of full bodied red wine
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • 12 shallots, peeled, or 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 140°C
  2. 2 tbsp of oil in the casserole dish on a medium heat. Add chicken a few pieces at a time, frying on all sides until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add shallots and bacon to the casserole for 10 minutes. Once golden and beginning to soften, remove (leaving any juices) and place with the chicken.
  4. Reduce the temperature to low, add 1 – 2 tbsp of oil and flour into the casserole, and mix with the juices. Heat for 2 minutes, or until lightly coloured. Add garlic and wine, and then stock. Cook out briskly until it has started to thicken a little.
  5. Add mushrooms, chicken, shallots and bacon into the dish. Bring to a gentle simmer,. Add herbs, and season to taste.
  6. Once boiling, cover and cook in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve with mash and greens.