Lamb Stew with White Beans and Tomatoes
4 to 6 servings
1 1/2 to 2 hours, largely unattended
The combination of slow-cooked meat (in this case, lamb), tomatoes and white beans never gets old, especially when the weather calls for something warm and comforting. And if you have leftovers, great; this dish is just as good (maybe even better) the next day.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch cubes, or 3 to 4 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder or neck, cut into roughly 2-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 or 4 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup red wine or stock
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish
1. Put the olive oil in a large, deep skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the lamb chunks a few at a time, removing them as they brown and seasoning with salt and pepper as they cook. When they are all nicely browned, which will take 5 to 10 minutes, pour or spoon off the excess fat, then add the rosemary and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add the wine, and stir to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the white beans, return the lamb to the pan, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, turn the heat to low, and cover. Cook at a steady bubble, checking and stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender, about an hour (at most 90 minutes) later. (At this point, you may let the dish sit for a few hours or cover and refrigerate for up to a day before reheating and proceeding.)
3. Remove the cover; if the mixture is soupy, raise the heat a bit and cook until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then garnish with parsley and serve.