And just like that, summer is over and fall is on the way. Even though the weather will continue to periodically climb up into the seventies, the sun is already visibly lower in the sky and the winds have changed and the leaves are starting to fall.
And apples are back at the Green Market which makes me oh so very happy!
This Flageolet Beans with Lamb is a riff on the White Beans with Lamb (Etli Kuru Fasulye) that I made the winter before last. I had the lamb chop in the freezer and some flageolet beans (which are quickly becoming one of my favorites), and I was in the mood for a some good hearty beans for lunch. This method of adding meat to beans is a great one, because I already had the beans cooking on the stove before I decided to add the lamb. It added no time to the overall dish to sear and braise the chop while the beans were still cooking and then add them all together at the end.
The method I used to cook the beans is one that I adapted from the oven-baked no soak method I wrote about here. I quickly realized that the method should work just as well on the stove top, and it seems much faster and easier to do it this way. I will usually just cook up a batch of some kind of beans a few days before I need to think about what to make for work lunches, and then I will come up with the idea for how I want to use them by the time that I need them. And if I do not need them, they freeze well so I will have them on hand and available if I want them and don't have time to cook them.
It's about as close to having canned beans on hand as you can get without actually buying canned beans. I highly recommend it. Dried beans are so much cheaper than canned, and you know from whence the ingredients came.
As with most bean dishes, this travels extremely well for work lunches. In fact, it actually works well for school lunches as well. I have taken to not putting my lunches in the refrigerator when I get to work, and by lunch time they are warm enough to eat without re-heating. I am sure some of you will gag at the thought, but I have found that most dishes are just as tasty this way and I don't have to worry about microwaving in plastic (which I avoid) or getting an extra dish dirty when I transfer the contents to a glass bowl so I can microwave it. Obviously this does not work for everything, but I am re-heating less and less of my lunches at work. YMMV.
Home Cookin 8.59 Chapter: My Recipes
FLAGEOLET BEANS WITH LAMBMakes 6-8 servings
1 cup (about 1/2 lb) dried flageolet or other white beans, or 3 cups cooked
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil oil
1 6-oz lamb blade chop
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp Spanish sweet smoked paprika
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Sort through the beans then rinse them well and drain them. Place them into a 3-quart saucepan and add half a tablespoon of salt. Cover with cold water up to two inches over the top of the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for a good minute or so before lowering the heat to a simmer and covering the pot. Cook the beans over the low heat until they have all settled down to the bottom of the pan and are tender, anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half (start testing after half an hour). If you are using canned beans, you can skip this step (obviously).
While the beans are cooking, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch skillet. Add the lamb chop and brown it, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside.
Adding more oil if necessary and lowering the heat to medium, add the fennel seeds to the skillet and cook until they are sizzling and have released their aroma. Be careful not to let them burn. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and season with the salt and pepper. Cook until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes, still stirring occasionally.
Add the wine, thyme, smoked paprika and the water. Place the lamb chop back in the pan and bring to a simmer. Cover, lower the heat, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the lamb is fork tender. Take the lamb chop out of the skillet, remove the meat from the bone and cut it into bite-sized pieces, then return it back to the pan. Add the beans and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
adapted from Stewed White Beans recipe from Saveur Magazine Number 120
Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountain-software.com)