Roast Lamb with Flageolets

Lamb roast with flageolets

Lamb roast with flageolets (well, haricots)

This is a good recipe from Gabriel Gaté which introduces us to the French notion of beans as a traditional accompaniment to lamb roast.  Now, it has to be said that  Australians are no stranger to the lamb roast.  As an Aussie Sunday tradition, the lamb roast rose to iconic status in the late 1980’s when it was well known that not even the prospect of a date with Tom Cruise would be enough to deter a young lady from staying home for dinner if her mum was going to ‘bung on a lamb roast’. If only someone had told Nicole…

Anyway, back to the topic… lamb and beans.  There is nothing difficult in this recipe, it is pretty much your standard lamb roast, just with a slightly different side that usual.  There are no roast spuds (potatoes) much to my husbands disappointment, although the beans were a hearty, fresh touch and very, very moorish.  Definitely something new to throw into the traditional lamb roast repertoire,  even just for a change every now and then.

Ingredients

  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 leg (about 2 kg) spring lamb, trimmed of most of the fat
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1½ cm (½ in) slices or whole Dutch carrots
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) dry cider
  • 2 cups drained cooked flageolet beans (I actually used dried baby haricot beans – flageolets are very young haricot beans harvested when still slightly green in colour.  White haricots are just a little bit older when picked)
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley

How to do it

Woohoo, finally a recipe that does not start with 15 minutes of chopping!  This one only requires the slicing of four garlic cloves into about four slices a piece – believe it – or not.

Boil, boil and boil some more...

Boil, boil and boil some more…

However, firstly you will need to consider your beans.  If they are dried, you will either need to soak them for 6-8 hours (overnight is good) or you will need to boil them in water (three cups water to 1 cup of beans) for a good hour or so (check packet directions). If they are fresh, you can blanch and prepare them in hot water a few minutes before serving.

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Garlic studded glory...

Garlic studded glory…

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Use a small sharp knife to poke holes in your leg of lamb, each hole needs to be deep enough that you can push in one of your garlic slices without it sticking out of the top (where it will burn).  Make about 16 holes over the top of the lamb leg and push a slice of garlic into each hole.

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Would you like some lamb with that butter?

Would you like some lamb with that butter?

Using half the butter, generously slather the top of the lamb and season well with salt and pepper.  Oil the base of a roasting tray and put your lamb in.  Then put the whole lot in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (although feel free to go for a bit longer depending on your liking).  Gabriel suggests turning the lamb over a few times during cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.  Up to you really if you want to try this.  I’ve never done it, although I suppose it can’t hurt.

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After 20 minutes start preparing your carrots.  I like the rustic look for a roast, so I roughly chopped my carrots into 4-5 larger chunks.  Put these in the roasting tray with the remaining garlic cloves, and return the whole lot to the oven to finish cooking.

Mmmmmm!

Mmmmmm!

When the lamb is done to your liking, remove the roasting tray from the oven and transfer the lamb, along with the carrots and garlic to a plate to rest (cover in foil).  Then skim the excess fat from the roasting tray making sure you leave any pan juices behind.

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Deglaze with cider, and melt in the butter...

Deglaze with cider, and melt in the butter…

Place the roasting tin over a hot plate on the stove top (medium heat) and deglaze with the cider.  Bring it to the boil and scrape up any bits of meat etc., from the bottom of the pan for flavour (yum!).  Add in the remaining butter and stir as it thickens.  When the butter is melted throw in the cooked beans and stir to coat before adding in the chopped parsley.

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Tasty beans...

Tasty beans…

Serve by placing a few spoonfuls of the beans into the centre of a plate and laying a few slices of the garlic studded lamb over the top.  And finally, place the carrots and roasted garlic around the beans before serving.

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