LEBANESE LAMB AND BEAN STEW
For the next couple of weeks we will be running a series of recipes to help you use up your chametz. Today's recipe makes use of dried beans and pairs them with lamb for a delicious Lebanese style stew. Ideal served with rice, couscous or quinoa this dish does double duty at using up your Pesach contraband!
Don't worry if you don't have white beans, just use a mixture of what you have and it is not terrible if you don't have enough of them. If I am running short of beans I sometimes add in a large carrot sliced into half moons about the thickness of a pound coin when I am simmering the meat to bulk it out and I have been known, if feeling too lazy to make a vegetable, to stir in a bag of baby spinach right at the end, off the heat just to wilt through.
TO SERVE 4
250g dried white beans soaked or one tin of white beans (haricot, pinto, navy, etc)
700g shoulder of lamb cut into large cubes
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baharat
2 litres water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1-2 medium chillies seeds removed & chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
salt and freshly ground black pepper.
If using dried beans, rinse and soak in cold water overnight and drain or open the tin and rinse and drain the beans. bring the water, lamb and baharat to a boil in a saucepan and simmer covered until the meat is almost tender; approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Add the beans and stir and then simmer for a further hour.
Meanwhile, saute the onions, garlic, chilli if using, half a teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper in the oil in a heavy frying pan over a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes until pale gold and translucent. Add the tomato puree and stir and cook the mixture for a further 2-3 minutes.
When the beans are tender add the onion and tomato mixture and stir. Allow it to heat through for about 5 minutes then taste and adjust the seasoning before serving with your choice of accompaniments.
This stew can be successfully made ahead of time and slowly reheated in a casserole dish in the oven. It will keep for up to three days in the fridge and freezes for 6 weeks.