Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lamb and White Bean Stew

November has arrived. It's my favorite month of the year. It brings Thanksgiving and my birthday - which means a trip to Boston, my favorite city, is in the near future. I've decided to celebrate the month by taking a break from cooking for the next few days. I made a huge pot of stew this past Sunday. There is nothing better than slow cooker stew - minimum effort for maximum taste.

2 pounds (about 3-4) lamb shanks
2 cups dried white beans, such as Great Northern
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
8 small carrots, halved
4 whole garlic cloves, crushed gently and peeled
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 dried bay leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups cold water
Flat leaf parsley, to serve

In a large bowl, soak beans in water for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain and rinse the beans. In a large slow cooker, layer in the lamb shanks and the beans. Layer the onions, carrots, garlic and seasonings. Add 8 cups of cold water to the cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the beans have cooked through and the meat is falling-off-the-bone tender.

Discard the bay leaves. Remove the shanks from the cooker and set aside to cool slightly.

Skim the top of the stew to remove excess oil from the cooking liquid. If you don't have a kitchen utensil for doing this, lay a paper towel over the surface of the stew to soak briefly and then discard. Repeat until the excess oil is removed.

Discard the fat and bone from the shanks and stir it back into the stew.

Garnish each bowl of soup with some flat leaf parsley before serving.

Serves 8

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