This comforting French winter dish, is a very much loved family classic in the Pyrenees region. The cut used in this recipe is lamb shoulder as it gives a beautifully tender result.
- 20 g butter
- 50 g streaky bacon, diced
- 3 sprigs thyme, chopped
- 1 kg boneless trimmed lamb shoulder, cut into 12 pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 60 ml (¼ cup) dry white wine
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 400 g cooked white beans, drained
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- 80 g coarse fresh breadcrumbs
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the butter and bacon in a wide heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the thyme and stir well. Add the lamb pieces and brown the lamb on all sides for a few minutes.
Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes to lightly brown the onion.
Add the wine, bring to the boil, then add the tomatoes. Cover with foil and a lid and cook over low heat for about 1½-2 hours until the meat is tender. Stir the stew a couple of times during the cooking to make sure it doesn't stick.
When the meat is cooked, add the beans. Stir gently and reheat for a few minutes. Transfer the stew to a wide gratin dish and sprinkle the top with the chopped parsley and breadcrumbs.
Place under a hot grill and leave for a few minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately but take care as it's very hot.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
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