This main course will serve 6 people. Serve with a California Cabernet Sauvignon or any full-bodied red wine.
1 T. oil
1 4 to 5 pound leg of lamb or 6 meaty lamb shanks
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 12 cherry tomatoes, peeled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1/2 cup beef broth
1 t. thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dried navy beans
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
Minced fresh parsley for garnish
Step 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add lamb and brown on all sides. Drain fat. Place onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes and garlic around meat. Add wine, broth, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper and stir to blend. Cover and bake two hours.
Step 2. While lamb is cooking, presoak beans one hour using quick soaking method (described in Spanish white bean soup recipe). After draining, place beans in medium saucepan, add water to cover and add remaining celery and onion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer gently one hour.
Step 3. Add beans to lamb and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes, until lamb and beans are tender.
Step 4. To serve, arrange sliced lamb (if using leg) or whole lamb shanks on warmed serving platter. Drain beans, reserving liquid, and spoon around the lamb. Degrease liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour some over lamb, passing remainder in gravy boat. Garnish lamb with parsley just before serving.