Here is a lovely recipe for Easter, or any weekend come to that:
500g. dried white beans (I used cannellini from Handley Organics)
4 onions, about 750g. quartered
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 shoulder or leg of lamb (about 2kgs. in weight)
1 tbsp. oil
250mls. white wine
3 large sprigs of rosemary
3 tbsps. chopped parsley
Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water.
They need to be pre-cooked, so put them in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the water.
Heat the oven to gas mark 3/ 170C. Either finely chop the onions, garlic and carrot or blitz them in a food processor. Sear the lamb in a roasting pan, until it takes on some colour and then remove. Add the onion mush to the tin, and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the beans, stirring them in well and then pour in the wine and 1 litre of the reserved bean liquid. Tuck the rosemary sprigs in and then place the lamb back on top of the beans. Season with plenty of salt and bring to the boil. When it starts to bubble, cover the tin with foil, baggily but with sealed edges and place in the oven for 4 hours or turn down the oven to gas mark 1 / 140C after 3 hours and leave for up to 8 hours. It will be fine to eat after 3.
Remove the tin from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and transfer the lamb to a board. Stir the beans and taste for seasoning, then spoon into a large dish and carve the lamb into shreds and chunks and arrange on top. sprinkle a little more salt over, scatter over the parsley and let people dig in.
There are so many beans in this that I do not think it needs any other vegetable, Though Nigella, whose recipe it is, suggests a plain tomato salad to be served afterwards with a little Dijon mustard dressing. Evidently she loves mustard with lamb!
I think some crusty bread might be nice myself. Maybe even a green vegetable such as cabbage to go alongside.
I am cooking this myself on Easter Sunday.