Shoulder of lamb with red wine and beans

Catherine Fulvios hearty braise brings sunny Italian flavours to a wintry lamb dinner
By Catherine Fulvio
Shoulder of lamb with red wine and beans
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus resting and cooling
  • Effort: easy


  • 1.3 kg lamb shoulder, trimmed, boned and tied
  • pine nuts
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest only
  • parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 100 g smoked pancetta, cut into 1-1.5cm cubes
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 3 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 300 ml lamb stock
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400 g canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • potatoes or warm crusty bread, to serve


1. Untie the lamb shoulder, unroll it and stuff with the pine nuts, lemon zest and parsley before rolling back up and retying the joint.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove from the pan and leave the meat to stand until it is cool enough to handle.

3. Meanwhile, cut the garlic cloves into quarters. When the lamb is cool enough, make 12 deep incisions all over the meat. Push a piece of garlic and a small piece of rosemary into each incision.

4. Sauté the onion and pancetta in the frying pan for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and leek and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Transfer the vegetables to a casserole dish.

5. Stir the red wine, stock and tomatoes into the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Submerge the thyme and bay leaves in the liquid.

6. Sit the lamb on top, cover and place over a high heat until the casserole reaches simmering point. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes, using a meat fork or tongs to turn the lamb halfway through cooking.

7. Stir the beans into the vegetable mixture and continue simmering until the beans are hot and the lamb is cooked through and tender.

8. Remove the lamb to a carving board, cover with foil to keep the meat warm and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

9. Remove the string from the joint and slice the meat thickly. Remove the thyme and bay leaves from the bean mixture and carefully skim any fat from the surface.

10. Spoon the bean mixture onto warmed serving plates and arrange the sliced lamb on top, garnishing with fresh rosemary if desired. Serve with potatoes or warm bread on the side.

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