Cosy up with this succulent, slow-cooked, simple lamb casserole
Slow cooked casseroles are one of the wonders of the cooler seasons, perfect for when the days get shorter and the air fresher. For minimal input you are rewarded with meltingly tender and delicious dinner and the deep, rich aromas lingering in your kitchen. It’s comfort food of the most nourishing kind!
This lamb and butter bean casserole is a great example: it’s very easy to put together and requires little supervision. Serve with anything from crusty sourdough to soft polenta or rice- anything that will mop up the yummy gravy. A rocket salad or some steamed greens on the side and dinner is done.
Ingredients (serves four)
3 anchovies in oil
600 g Mirrool Creek diced lamb
1 medium brown onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 big sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 cloves “Russian” garlic, whole
1 x 400 g can diced tomatoes
200 ml stock or water
1 x 400 g butter beans, drained and rinsed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
handful basil leaves, slivered
1. Preheat oven 130°C.
2. Heat a saucepan on the stove over a medium-high heat and add the anchovies with any oil that clings to them. Add the lamb and brown, stirring. Remove the meat and place it in an ovenproof casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid.
3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cover with lid and sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a little water if the vegetables stick). Remove the lid and add vinegar. Allow to cook for 30 seconds then transfer everything to the casserole dish along with the garlic, tomatoes and stock or water. Season generously, pop the lid on and place in the preheated oven.
4. Cook for 3 hours, adding the butter beans 15 minutes before the cooking time is up. Take the casserole from the oven and carefully remove the garlic cloves. Squeeze the garlic into a small bowl and add a little of the tomato broth to thin it out, then stir mixture into the casserole. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with parsley and basil.