NORTH RONALDSAY MUTTON LEG WITH HARICOT BEANS

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Ingredients:

Meat

  • 800g mutton leg or shoulder, boned and rolled
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced 10 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Fresh thyme and fresh rosemary

Beans

  • 500g Tarbais or haricot beans
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 onions, peeled and split 4/6 cloves garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 litres chicken stock or water

Method

1. The night before, rinse your beans under running water, place in a large bowl and add double the quantity of cold water. Soak them overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 90°C.

3. In a large heavy-bottomed casserole dish, warm up the olive oil, add the butter and sear your meat until it’s a dark golden colour all over. Keep turning the meat over, and make sure the pan is hot enough. Add in onion, carrots and garlic, sweat for a few minutes, add the bouquet garni, thyme and rosemary, cover with lid and place in the oven at 90 degrees. Cook for seven hours.

4. Drain and rinse the beans, place in a large casserole dish, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Skim the white foam off with a small ladle, then when the bouillon is clear, add the carrot, onion, peeled garlic and bouquet garni. Boil for two minutes and simmer for about an hour on a slow heat. Taste your beans as they cook, and season halfway through with salt. Make sure they are slightly undercooked as they will carry on cooking when reheating for serving. Put them aside until needed.

5. Turn your mutton over now and then, and place a small knife through the meat – it should enter the heart of the meat with no resistance. Leave it to rest for a while.

6. Place the meat on a tray and cover it with a sheet of foil. Pass the jus from the meat through a sieve into a small saucepan and reduce by half. Season to taste.

7. To serve, bring your beans to temperature, take out the bouquet garni and the onion and discard them, add a good knob of butter, stirring gently, then at that stage season with ground black pepper and salt if needed.

8. Place your meat on a serving plate, put the beans on the bottom, pour the sauce over and serve up. You can carve the mutton before, you sit down or at the table.

As published on Sunday Herald Life, 18 Mar 2018