Braised shoulder of lamb, shallots and flageolet beans
This dish can be cooked the day before and then reheated. You could make a hearty lamb and bean broth with any leftovers; just add some kale or sprout tops.
125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
2 kg (4½ lb) shallots, peeled
2 heads garlic, peeled
3 stalks celery, sliced
4 fennel bulbs, sliced
1 bundle of herbs (thyme, bay leaves, rosemary), tied up in cooking twine
375 ml (1½ cups) red wine
1 ltr (4 cups) chicken stock
1 x shoulder of lamb (about 2 kg/4½ lb)
500 g (2½ cups) flageolet beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender
2 bags watercress
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the shallots, garlic, celery and fennel and gently brown.
3. Add the herbs. When the shallots start to brown, add the wine and chicken stock.
4. Pour the vegetables into a large oven tray and place the lamb on top. Season with salt and pepper and cover with kitchen foil.
5. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 150°C (300°F) and cook for 2 hours.
6. Add the cooked flageolet beans (drained) and cook for 1 hour. Remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes to brown the meat. Just before serving, add the watercress to the pan and allow to wilt into the juices. Check the seasoning. The meat should be beautiful and tender and should fall away easily. You can serve with green sauce (salsa verde) or aioli and a watercress salad.
Recipes by one of East London’s best restaurants, Rochelle Canteen
London: The Cookbook by Cara Frost-Sharratt, Francis Lincoln, £20