We made this using black-eyed beans and a leg of lamb from a Hebridean sheep from Grimsay. It was delicious. I made it the night before, up to the point of putting it in the oven, but for various reasons, didn’t finish cooking it until tonight. The flavour is fantastic.
- 1 can of cannellini beans, or similar beans, or 300g dried beans, soaked overnight in cold water.
- Olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic
- ¼ tsp crushed hot dried chillies
- 4-6 fresh bay leaves
- 1.5kg of lamb or mutton. (The original recipe says this should be boned, but I don’t know how to do that.
- 250g cooking chorizo, skinned and cut into thick slices
- 2 small sprigs rosemary, broken into small clusters of leaves, or 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- salt and pepper
- A pinch of sugar or a teaspoon of date syrup.
- First of all, cook the beans as follows. The method is the same whether the beans are tinned or dried, but the tinned beans don’t need to be cooked as long.
- Drain the beans
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, and add one of the chopped onions, two of the cloves of garlic, crushed, as well as the crushed chillies and the bayleaves. Stir well and cook over a low heat for ten minutes.
- Add the beans and 1 can-ful of water. Bring to a simmer until heated through. If you are using dried beans, add 750ml water, and simmer for 45 minutes.
- While the beans are cooking, heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole dish, big enough for the lamb. Fry the chorizo until lightly toasted on all sides and set aside. Brown the lamb on all sides and remove from the pan.
- Once the lamb is cool, poke holes in it with a knife and jam wedges of garlic into the holes. If you are using fresh rosemary, add sprigs to the holes as well. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
- Add more oil to the casserole dish, if required, and fry the second onion, the last two cloves of garlic, crushed, and stir in the paprika and cumin. When the onion is nicely cooked, add the tomatoes, thyme, and dried rosemary, and bring the mixture to a simmer. I usually cook tinned tomatoes for around 20 minutes to make sure there is no tinny taste.
- Add the bean mixture and browned chorizo to the casserole dish, stir and check the flavour. Season with salt, pepper and possibly a pinch of sugar.
- Put the lamb on the top of the tomato and bean mixture, and cover the dish with a close-fitting lid.
- At this stage, we paused, and finished the cooking the next day,
- Put the lamb into a hot oven, 190C, and cook for 2 hours. Uncover for the last half an hour.
To serve, I took the lamb out of the dish and sliced it. I also simmered the bean and tomato mixture on the hob to thicken it slightly
We ate this with the slices of lamb on top of the tomato and bean stew, a glass of red wine, and some flat breads and a green salad.