Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cookbook Challenge - Week 2

Woohoo.....I've kept my commitment for two whole weeks!!!  Yea me!

This week I picked my recipe from "The Illustrated Cooking Bible  -  1000 Family Recipes From Around the World".  I just picked this up from BN recently and I really like it....LOTS of pictures and great detailed, relatively simple recipes.  I will say, however, that this recipe fell a little short for me, but I think I know what went wrong and what I'd do different next time.....explanation coming!

The recipe was on page 343....Roast Lamb with White Beans.  Lamb is probably my favorite Fall dish (running a close race with Short Ribs) and I absolutely LOVE white beans, so I had high hopes for this.  Mr. B was actually going to be home on a Sunday night (yes, I cooked this on Sunday.....sue me) and so was Miss dinner!!

I remembered cooking a Bobby Flay lamb shank recipe last winter that was fabulous, so I dug it out and compared the two.  The main differences were that Bobby's recipe had a little more liquid and was cooked covered in the oven.  That's probably where I'd make some corrections with this new recipe.  The shanks were a little tough (could have just been the meat, though) but the white beans were fabulous.  That's really why I'd like to try this one again.....loved the beans!'s the recipe...

Roast Lamb with White Beans
makes four servings

prep time 15 minutes
cook time 1 hour 15 minutes

3lb leg of lamb or shanks (recommend the leg)
2-3 sprigs rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
two 15oz cans flageolet or white Northern beans, drained (don't rinse)
4 plum tomatoes, cut in halves lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp tomato paste

Prepare ahead  The lamb can be prepared through step 1 and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  With a small, sharp knife, make several deep cuts into the fresh of the lamb.  Strip the leaves from 1 rosemary sprig, and push a few rosemary leaves into each cut.  Place the lamb in a roasting pan, withe the oil, and season with salt and pepper

Bake for 1 hour.  Combine the beans, tomatoes, garlic and remaining rosemary.  Remove the lamb from the oven and spoon the bean mixture around it.  Mix the wine and tomato paste together and pour over the beans.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then continue baking, stirring the beans after 15 minutes, for about 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the lamb reads 130 degrees.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

I think the next time I make this, I'll definitely use a leg of lamb, and sear it on the stove top and keep it covered the entire time in the oven not just the last 30 minutes. 

Here's the link for the Bobby Flay recipe which I served to a dinner party of 8 people that got RAVE reviews!


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