Italians love milk fed lamb and it is a highly prized ingredient. With a fantastic delicate sweet flavour it needs to be cooked with care. This recipe is perfect as the balance of flavours is not too strong or overpowering.
- 200 g dried cannellini beans
- 2 onions
- 200 g bacon
- olive oil
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig sage
- 200 g button mushrooms
- 1 small lamb shoulder (preferably spring lamb), chopped into large pieces
- flour, for dusting
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 x 400 g tin crushed tomatoes
- 1 litre stock (vegetable or a light chicken stock)
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.
Soaking time: overnight
Soak the cannellini beans overnight.
Drain beans, put them in a pot with fresh cold, salted water and simmer for 15 minutes, drain and put aside.
Meanwhile, chop the onion and the bacon and sweat them in a casserole dish with a little oilive oil, until softened. Add the fresh herbs and mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes.
Dust the chopped shoulder of lamb with a little flour and quickly sear them in olive oil in a separate pan. Add to the ingredients in the casserole dish and pour in the white wine and allow to evaporate before adding the beans, the tomatoes and the stock.
Bring to a simmer and place in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes if using a young lamb (milk fed) or a little longer if the animal is older.