Braised Lamb with Tarbais Beans & Pistou
D'Artagnan chef bio | Yield: Serves 4
This easy recipe for slow-cooked lamb with creamy white beans and fresh basil pistou is the ultimate comfort food.
- ½ pound French Coco Tarbais Beans, rinsed
- Water, as needed
- 5 ounces Ventrèche - French Pancetta, divided use
- 6 cloves garlic, divided use
- 6 sprigs parsley, divided use
- 5 sprigs thyme, divided use
- 2 bay leaves, divided use
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- ½ Boneless Lamb Shoulder, about 2 ½ - 3 pounds, trimmed and cut into 3” chunks
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 container Veal Demi-Glace
- 2 packed cups basil leaves
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Place the beans in a non-reactive container and cover with water by several inches. Soak beans at room temperature overnight.
- Drain beans then place into a large heavy pot with 2 ounces of ventrèche, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs of thyme, and 1 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.
- 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 2 tablespoons of rendered fat. If you don’t, add a bit of neutral oil.) Raise heat to medium-high.
- 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.
- Add shallots and carrot; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Finely chop 2 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 1 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.
- While the lamb is cooking, finish the beans and make the pistou. Drain beans and discard peppercorns, herbs, ventrèche, and garlic. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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 2 – 2½ 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.
- Serve lamb, beans, and sauce with reserved ventrèche, a generous topping of pistou, and some crusty bread.