When cooking meat you need to choose the right cut for the dish. I wanted to cook a Lamb dish with beans, cooked long and slow, so I chose Shoulder. This cut can be tough if you attempt to roast it. If you want roast Lamb, use Leg! As long as you treat it properly, Shoulder is tasty and tender - ideal for what I wanted.
I browned the meat in a pan containing a small amount of hot oil, to seal it and caramelize it a little. Because of the shape of the piece I had to use tongs to hold in the right position for the end surfaces:
Then I threw into the pan some sliced onions, some carrots and some red Asian shallots (the latter simply because I had some that needed using up. Otherwise I would have used another onion). It was quite colourful at this stage!
I then put in about a litre of beef stock, a couple of sprigs of fresh Thyme and some salt and pepper, covered the pan and bunged it in the oven at 150C for three hours.
After an hour I took the dish out of the oven for a minute or so while I added a tin of Flageolet beans. You could also use Cannellini, Borlotti or any other type of bean that you like, as long as they are pre-cooked. I didn't add them right at the beginning of the cooking-time because I didn't want them to go too soft.
That's it. Just leave it to cook slowly, for about 3 (or 4) hours. You might want to check once or twice that it hasn't got too dry. Mine was the opposite. I left the lid off for the last half-hour or so to let the stock reduce a bit and thicken the gravy.
Meanwhile I made a Gratin Dauphinois and prepared some Brussels Tops to accompany the main dish.
Here is the finished dish, plated-up.
This next photo demonstrates the tenderness of the Lamb by this stage. You can see how the meat has shrunk away from the Y-shaped shoulder bone. The carrots were great too. Cooked slowly like this they go really soft and sweet.
And the beans soak up the lovely "Lamby" gravy and take on a soft creamy texture. What's not to like?
This is a dish that I really loved! Give it a go. You won't be disappointed.