Braised Lamb with White Beans

, from Issue #59. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Braised Lamb with White Beans

Lamb shoulder chops have a fantastic flavour and become meltingly tender when slow braised with aromatics and wine. Lamb shanks would also be delicious in this recipe.

Serves: 6-8


20 grams dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
1 kilogram lamb shoulder chops, cut 2cm thick 
½ cup plain flour
olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 carrots, diced
1 cup white wine
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 bay leaves
small handful sage leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 x 400 gram tin cherry tomatoes
sea salt and ground pepper

To finish
2 x 400 gram tins cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Rip the mushrooms into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour over the boiling water and let them soak for 30 minutes.

Dust the chops in seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan and brown the chops on both sides. Do this in batches, adding a little more oil to the pan if needed. Transfer to a large casserole or baking dish. 

Add the onions and carrots to the pan with a splash of water and a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat and add the wine, letting it bubble up until reduced by half.

Add the mushrooms and the soaking water along with all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Season then tip the contents of the pan over the chops, spreading it evenly. Cover with a piece of baking paper then a lid or foil, sealing tightly. 

Bake for 1½ hours then uncover and stir in the cannellini beans. Bake for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is falling off the bone. Stir in the parsley just before serving.

Cook’s Tip: As with most braised dishes the lamb is even better if cooked a day or two ahead of serving. Cool then cover and chill. Lift off any excess fat that has set on top and discard. Cover and reheat in a 180°C until piping hot.