Braised Lamb with Tarbais Beans & Pistou

Yield Serves 8
RECIPE Ingredients
  • 1 pound French Coco Tarbais Beans, rinsed
  • Water, as needed
  • 10 ounces Ventrèche - French Pancetta, divided use
  • 12 cloves garlic, divided use
  • 12 sprigs parsley, divided use
  • 10 sprigs thyme, divided use
  • 4 bay leaves, divided use
  • 2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 Boneless Lamb Shoulder trimmed and cut into 3” chunks
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons anchovy paste
  • 2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 container Veal Demi-Glace
  • 4 packed cups basil leaves
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Recipe notes
This easy recipe for slow-cooked lamb with creamy white beans and fresh basil pistou is the ultimate comfort food.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Place the beans in a non-reactive container and cover with water by several inches. Soak beans at room temperature overnight.
  2. Drain beans then place into a large heavy pot with 4 ounces of ventrèche, 4 cloves of garlic, 6 sprigs parsley, 4 sprigs of thyme, and 2 bay leaf. Tie the peppercorns into a double layer of cheesecloth and add to the pot. Cover bean mixture with water by a few inches and bring to a boil over medium-high then lower heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook until beans are tender, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, start the lamb. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Finely chop the remaining ventrèche and add to the Dutch oven; sauté until rendered and golden. Remove ventrèche with a slotted spoon and set aside. (You should have at least 4 tablespoons of rendered fat. If you don’t, add a bit of neutral oil.) Raise heat to medium-high.
  4. Season lamb pieces with salt and pepper. Brown the lamb on all sides, in batches as to not crowd the pot. Lamb should have a nice chestnut brown crust. Remove lamb to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add shallots and carrot; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Finely chop 4 garlic cloves and add to the pot, sauté about 1 minute more. Stir in tomato paste and anchovy paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add red wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in demi-glace and 2 cup of water; add remaining parsley, thyme, and bay. Add lamb back to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Bring mixture to a boil then cover and lower heat to maintain a simmer. Braise until lamb is extremely tender, about 3½ hours.
  6. While the lamb is cooking, finish the beans and make the pistou. Drain beans and discard peppercorns, herbs, ventrèche, and garlic. Set aside.
  7. To the bowl of a food processor, add basil and remaining garlic; pulse to chop. With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil and continue blending until mixture is a pesto-like consistency. Stir in cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste then pulse a few more times to combine. Set pistou aside.
  8. When lamb is tender remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and cover with foil. Strain the cooking liquid into another bowl through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing firmly on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids, transfer the liquid to a fat separator and discard the fat (you should have about 5 cups of liquid). Pour the liquid back into the Dutch oven, add the beans and lamb. Taste sauce for seasoning; add salt and/or pepper, if needed. Gently cook over medium heat about 30 minutes more.
  9. Serve lamb, beans, and sauce with reserved ventrèche, a generous topping of pistou, and some crusty bread.