Ingredients1kg dried white beans
4 onions (quartered)
6 cloves garlic
1 carrot (peeled and cut into chunks)
1 shoulder of lamb
1 tbsp vegetable oil
250ml white wine
3 large springs of rosemary
3 tbsp chopped parsley
Method1. Put the beans into a large bowl of cold water and soak overnight. You need to precook the beans, for all that they linger in the oven for hours and hours later, so put them in a large saucepan and cover them generously with cold water, bring to the boil and cook them for 20 minutes. Then drain but reserve the liquid (I use two tins of cannellini beans instead of doing all this).
2. Preheat the over to gas mark 3/170C. Either finely chop the onions, garlic and carrot or put them all in a processor and blitz. Sear the lamb in a deep roasting tin, fat-and-skin-side down, over a fairly high heat on top of the stove until it takes on some colour and then remove.
3. Add the onion mush to the roasting tin, adding only a spoonful of oil as the lamb should have rendered some fat and turn down the heat to fry gently, stirring every now and again, for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the beans, stirring them well, and then pour in the wine and 1 litre of the reserved bean liquid. Tuck the rosemary sprigs into the tin, then place the lamb back on top of the beans (right way up this time), season with plenty of salt (about 1 ½ tablespoons or half that of table salt). Bring to the boil. When it begins to bubble, cover the tin with foil, baggily but with tightly sealed edges, and place in the oven for 4 hours. Or turn down to gas mark 1/140C after 3 hours and leave for up to 8 hours, it will be fine to eat after 3 (Just make sure it doesnt cook dry. The beans/onions should be moist enough to use as an extra vegetable).
5. Remove the tented tin from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove the foil, and transfer the lamb momentarily to a board.
6. Stir the beans well in the roasting tin and taste for seasoning. Spoon them into a large dish and then carve the lamb into shreds and chunks and arrange on top. Sprinkle a little more salt over, if you think the lamb needs it. Scatter over the chopped parsley and let people dig in. Not elegant, but wonderful!