This slow cooked lamb and cannellini beans is an oh-so-comforting stew made with tender braised boneless lamb, white beans, vegetables and topped with parsley and lemon gremolata. The perfect thing for winter.
Bean stews make the perfect one-pot meal—comforting, filling, and inexpensive. Gremolata is a fresh-tasting mix of chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. I use it to sprinkle over roast or braised meats, pastas, or anything pan-grilled—delicious! If you’re short of time, you could replace it with some chopped parsley instead.–Darina Allen
Slow Cooked Lamb and Cannellini Beans
For the lamb
- 18 ounces boned leg or shoulder of lamb trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/4-inch (3-cm) cubes
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 cups (8 oz) finely diced carrots
- 1 celery stalk finely diced
- 2 bay leaves
- A few generous sprigs of rosemary
- Two (14 ounce) cans of Italian diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups homemade lamb stock or water
- Two (14 ounce) cans of cannellini beans rinsed in cold water and drained
For the gremolata
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 generous teaspoon grated or finely chopped organic lemon zest
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Sea salt flakes
Make the lamb
- In a large bowl, dust the cubes of lamb with flour and season with salt and pepper.
- In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, add the lamb and cook until browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate.
- Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery to the oil in the Dutch oven and cook until the onions begin to soften and are slightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the lamb.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes, white wine, and lamb stock or water. Bring to a boil, cover the Dutch oven with a lid, and simmer very gently until the lamb is tender, about 75 minutes.
- Stir in the cannellini beans and simmer until warmed through, about 15 minutes more.
Make the gremolata
- In a small bowl, mix the parsley, lemon, and garlic. Season to taste with salt.
- Remove the rosemary sprigs from the lamb. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with the gremolata.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This dish was a very pleasant way to enjoy lamb. The dish came out like a nice stew with good texture from the vegetables and a thicker tomato based sauce. I think adding the lamb stock gave it some extra richness.
The gremolata really brightened it up with the acidity from the lemon zest and some of the fresh garlic—the garlic came through but was not overpowering in raw garlic flavor. The hints of rosemary were like a nice warm hug, but the dish was also not just “wintery.” I had some leftover ramp butter and enjoyed that with a side of bread. Easy to put together! I will certainly make this dish again.
I love lamb. And when I saw this recipe, it immediately brought back memories of a barley and mutton stew my grandma would make when I was a child. In this recipe, the beans replaced the barley, but it still tasted quite similar. It has a wonderful richness with a hint of the gaminess from the slow cooked lamb.
Braising everything resulted in a wonderfully thick and savory broth. I used a trimmed lamb shoulder for this recipe, and I think one can easily add another 8 – 10 oz lamb to the recipe, as in my humble opinion, more lamb would make this even better!
Originally published February 08, 2021