Sunday, November 9, 2008

Braised lamb shanks with shell bean ragout

Every September, my local grocery store stocks fresh cranberry beans for about two weeks. This year, I bought a few pounds which I then shelled, blanched and froze. This recipe from Sunday Suppers at Lucques is meant to be made in the summer to take advantage of fresh shell beans, but I froze my beans so that I could enjoy summery recipes even when it's cold outside.

The lamb shanks are marinated in olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary, garlic and thyme overnight. For the braise, the shanks are browned and cooked in a mixture of white wine, chicken stock, fennel, carrot onion and herbs at 325 degrees for about 2 and a half hours. The braising liquid is strained and reduced, and the shanks are toppped with a black olive tapenade. The shanks are served on a shell bean ragout.

For the ragout, I sauteed garlic, onion, shallot and thyme in some olive oil. The cooked beans are tossed in the onion mixture to coat and warm through, then finished with salt, pepper, opal basil and parsley. I used a combination of cooked cranberry beans, lima beans and wax beans. The original recipe called for haricots verts, but I thought the wax beans would make for a more colorful end result.

The final plating is a few scoops of shell bean ragout, topped with a lamb shank and a dollop of tapenade. I loved all the colors and textures of the beans, and the tapenade added a nice saltiness and depth of flavor to the lamb. I'm out of cranberry beans now, so I'll probably have to wait until next year to make this one again. That being said, you could probably get away with frozen lima beans and green beans if you didn't want to wait that long.


17 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love beans and that lamb looks really good!

Cheers,

Rosa

Maria said...

Nice looking dinner!

Yasmeen said...

Thanks for dropping by Sara!. Lamb shank with beans absolutely satisfies my meaty protein desires:)

Candy said...

I love lamb. Every summer I go pick butter beans and have to shell them. I love them but whoa it is hard to find the time to just sit and shell!

Sara said...

Candy - I usually shell them while I'm watching tv!

Mary said...

Sara, what a lovely dish --- what a lovely blog! We love lamb at our house so I'll definitely give this a try. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you'll be back often.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

The lamb shanks look delicious. I think I'd try these in the slow cooker.

Ana Powell said...

Lovely dish, looks delicious.
We call those beans, borlotti beans, very creamy with a flavour similar to chestnuts. Very moreish food.
Ana :)

Barbara Bakes said...

I love the combination of lemon and rosemary. I bet it was delicious!

Grace said...

what fancy-shmancy spread! my supper last night was a leftover bowl of soup, which i thought was good at the time, but now seems really pathetic. :)

Jo said...

Ohhh this looks wonderful! *yum*

Barbara Bakes said...

I left you a MEME on my blog!

priscilla said...

hi sara. thanks for stopping by my blog! this looks yummy!

Cakebrain said...

Oh my. I haven't had lamb in such a long time! this looks so good!

Lisa said...

I have never seen those beans before. The lamb shanks look fabulous!

susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
susan said...

lamb is good but urs looks extra delicious! btw, you've been tagged! come to my blog and check it out.