Here, white beans, tender artichoke hearts and a small amount of lamb shoulder come together in a healthy spring stew. As with most slow-cooked dishes, the flavor improves after a day or two in the refrigerator.
Slideshow: Great Lamb Recipes
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 pound lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup dried small white beans, soaked overnight and drained
One 10-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced mint leaves
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
How to Make It
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the grapeseed oil until almost smoking. Generously season the lamb with salt and pepper and add the cubes to the hot oil. Cook the lamb over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until the cubes are browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate.
Add the onion and leek to the casserole, season with salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the stock, soaked white beans, browned lamb and any accumulated lamb juices and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the casserole. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer gently until the beans and lamb are very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the artichoke hearts and cook until they are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Season the stew with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, parsley, mint and garlic and mix well with a pinch of salt. Transfer the lamb stew to bowls, garnish with the lemon gremolata and serve.
One serving: 406 cal, 13 gm fat, 3.6 gm sat fat, 30 gm carb, 8.8 gm fiber, 44 gm protein. Tip: Combine leftover lamb with yogurt and chopped pickled vegetables in a pita for a quick Middle Eastern style sandwich. Tip: Substitute chicken thighs for the lamb for a lighter spring supper. Tip: Cover leftovers with mashed potatoes and broil for an almost-instant shepherd’s pie.
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