Lamb Shanks with Flageolet Beans
Tip re: dried flageolet beans – you can boil them unsoaked for 5 minutes, then leave them to stand for an hour and that should give the same effect.
300g dried flageolet beans, soaked in water over night (or see tip)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 lamb shanks
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 fennel, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A few sprigs thyme
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 small tin anchovies, drained and diced
250ml white wine
1 litre of water, lamb stock or chicken stock
250ml white wine
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and deseeded
Finely chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Put the soaked flageolet beans into a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and leave in the water until needed.
Heat the olive oil in a large casserole and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove, then add the onion, carrots and fennel, then saute on a medium heat for around 10 minutes until browning round the edges.
Add the garlic, thyme, chilli, smoked paprika and bay leaf. Stir to combine, then add the tomato puree and anchovies. Stir again, then pour in the white wine. Bring to the boil, then reduce by half.
Return the lamb shanks to the casserole. Drain the flageolet beans and add those too, then pour over the water or stock. Return to the boil, then cover and put in the oven. Cook 1.5 hours, then add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 1 – 1.5 hours until the beans and lamb are very tender.
The sauce should be quite well reduced as the beans will continue to soak up liquid and release starch, but if necessary, reduce the sauce by boiling on the hob for a few minutes.