Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ina Garten's Braised 4-Hour Lamb & Provencal French Beans

I have stubbornly held on to Summer, even though Labor Day has come and gone. I still have summer tomatoes to pick, and I'm still wearing shorts and flip-flops on the weekends!  Just last weekend, we grilled Rib-Eye steaks and were sipping cold beer, while watching the Salinas Air Show from the top of our neighborhood hill. Finally, I surrendered my grocery budget to a beautiful display of pears, apples, squash and root vegetables at Whole Foods.  With that said, today we are waiting for our first rain shower and I have a log in the fireplace, waiting to be lit for a cozy night at home.  Yes, I'm beginning to let go of  summer melons and iced teas-- slowly, but surely.

Hello, FallWelcome.  I really mean it. My pressure cooker and slow cooker are ready for soups and stews.  Bring on the root vegetables, squash and bread baking! So with that said, I present to you my first offering of a delicious way to prepare lamb.   I know, I know.... some of you don't like lamb.  Neither does my husband.  Stick with me, and I will show you how my husband changed his mind.

I caught this episode on the Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa show.   This recipe was adapted by Ina Garten from a traditional French 7-Hour Lamb.   However, Ina says that she tested the recipe a few times and found that 4-hours was the perfect time to braise a leg of lamb in white wine, lots of garlic and herbs-- the end result being tender meat that can literally be removed with a spoon.  I was drooling while watching Ina spooning mounds of Provencal French Beans around the finished lamb.   That was it!  I was inspired to make this. The very next day, I bought a leg of lamb at Whole Foods--

The  butcher was kind enough to cut a leg of lamb to 3 pounds.  This is New Zealand Lamb... grass fed.  $21.00 might seem pricey, but this will feed at least 8 people. Here we go:

Season the lamb with coarse salt & fresh cracked pepper.  Now for lots of fresh garlic, thyme and rosemary...
After reading the reviews from folks who made this, some said that "it lacked flavor".  I used a LOT of garlic, and then I decided to add one onion to flavor the braising liquid. Think that will work?

Sear the lamb, on really high heat with olive oil. Set the lamb aside.

Add white wine to deglaze all that tasty brown stuff.  Ina adds water, but I added homemade chicken stock,  into the Dutch oven.. Now, add the herbs, garlic and onion...add the lamb and cover. Place into a 300F oven and let it cook for 3 hours.  Next, make the beans (which I soaked the night before):

Rinse Northern White Beans and prepare a mire poix (chopped carrots, onion and celery).  Next, I add fresh parsley, thyme, garlic and rosemary.  I added more chicken stock and simmered the beans for more than Ina says she did-- like over an hour.  How's the lamb doing?


Oooh... falling off the bone!


Remove the lamb, the herbs and drain the liquid...


Push the garlic through a sieve, for more flavor. Discard everything else. Reduce the liquid until thick-- about 15 minutes. Time to serve! Add the sauce over the lamb, and serve with the beans.

Did four hours do the trick?

You bet!  Tender!  No, that's not a spoon.  But that would have worked, too.

VERDICT:  The lamb was tender and flavorful.  The braising liquid had plenty of flavor, just the right notes of garlic, without being overpowering.  I'm glad that I added an onion, because the broth had plenty of flavor. The beans..oh, the beans!  This is French comfort food that served 8 people.  Um, only we are only three in the family.  Suffice it to say that this was delicious the next day. I had to fight over it with my boys, who loved it.

The printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.  Thanks Ina Garten!





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12 comments:

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
This has my vote!
I am not a big lamb fan, except for braised lamb shank, but you can easily change my mind!
Love the beans with the Provencal flavors! Beautiful fall dish!

Joanne said...

I knew you would turn over to the dark side eventually :P This lamb looks fantastic! I love a good lamb roast...nothing quite like it.

Bridgett said...

You cannot go wrong with an Ina recipe and this one would even get me to try lamb again. It looks fabulous!

Monica H said...

Now that is a bowl of deliciousness!

bellini valli said...

I often say it that you can never go wrong with Ina:D The lamb seems to melt right off the bone.

Cathy said...

I LOVE lamb and can't wait to try this recipe. Ina's recipes are always wonderful and your presentation is beautiful, Debby. What a wonderful fall dish.

TKW said...

This looks like a winner! As long as you used the "good" olive oil...and you did, right? :)

Noelle Marie said...

I saw this one on her show and remembered salivating. So glad you broke it down and put in your own flare. Little lammy here I come!

Carole said...

Brava, Debby--looks scrumptious. I <3 Ina Garten!

Mary said...

Okay.... that looks so incredibly and beautiful tender! This has been bookmarked, thanks for sharing!

Great blog!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

Pam said...

What a lovely dish. Ina's recipes are the best!

Coneflower Ranch said...

I just saw Ina make this on her show last weekend and I have it in the oven as I type this. 4PM can't come fast enough! Thanks so much on the tips to make it tastier!