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Ina Garten's Braised 4-Hour Lamb & Provencal French Beans

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Ina Garten's Braised 4-Hour Lamb & Provencal French Beans

This dish is based on a French 7-hour braised lamb. The leg of lamb is braised in white wine, with plenty of herbs. This yields tender falling-off-the-bone flavorful lamb. This is a very simple dish to prepare, once you've seared the lamb. Ina Garten's adaptation was to braise the leg of lamb for only 4-hours. I have to admit, that after 4 hours I had tender and flavorful bites of meat. I usually cook lamb with red wine and tomato sauce, but this variation was a nice flavorful and comforting dish, which I served with Provencal Northern White Beans.

Ingredients

1 (6 to 7-pound) leg of lamb (see note)
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 (750-ml) bottle dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock (or water)
2 heads of garlic, broken apart but not peeled
15 large sprigs fresh rosemary
15 large sprigs fresh thyme
1 onion, peeled and cut in half (my adaptation, to add more flavor to the broth)
6 bay leaves
For the beans:
14 ounces dried Great Northern beans
1 quart homemade chicken stock or canned broth
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ cup good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1 cup medium-diced carrots (2 carrots)
1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Rub the lamb all over with olive oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat a very large Dutch oven such as Le Creuset over medium-high heat until its hot. Add the lamb and sear on all sides for about 12 minutes, until its browned all over. Remove the lamb to a plate. Add the wine and 2 cups of water to the pan and cook for a minute or two, scraping up all the brown bits in the bottom. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves and the lamb on top. Place the lid on the pot and bake in the oven for 4 hours, basting occasionally. (If you dont have a lid, you can cover it tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil.) After 4 hours, the lamb should be incredibly tender and falling off the bone. Remove the lamb to a plate, cover it tightly with foil and allow it to rest. Strain the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce. The lamb will be too tender to slice; serve it warm with spoons and the sauce. Notes Note: Before you buy the lamb, measure the diameter of your pot. If the lamb is longer than your pot, ask the butcher to cut off the shank end of the lamb and cook both pieces together in the same pot. For the beans: Place the beans in a bowl and cover with water. Soak in the refrigerator overnight. Drain the beans, place in a large saucepan with the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes*, until tender but not mushy. Add 1 tablespoon of salt for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving the stock. *NOTE: I found that I needed to cook the beans for 1 1/2 hours, because they were a little too firm for my own personal liking. Adjust cooking time to your own personal taste. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil, then add the onions, diced carrots, and celery, and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Add the parsley, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook for 1 more minute. Add the beans and 2 cups of the cooking stock. (If you dont have enough liquid, add additional stock or water to make 2 cups.) Cook for 15 minutes until the stock makes a little sauce, adding more stock if necessary. Finish with the Parmesan cheese. Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley. TASTING NOTE: I was thinking the beans didn't have much flavor, until I added the Parmesan cheese. Wow, that made a big difference!

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