This one-pot dish is perfect for a weekend. You could easily use a slightly larger piece of meat and invite friends or family over to share in the feast, or just enjoy it with your own family. The dish contains cannellini beans, so I often serve it with hummus and bread, rather than with mashed potatoes or rice. However, if you prefer, leave out the cannellini beans and add your choice of carb.
Feeds 6 people
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 2 hours, 45 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1kg boneless shoulder of lamb (if buying bone-in you’ll need to buy about 1.3kg)
250ml red wine, vegetable stock or water
800g tinned diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
800g tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
quick hummus (optional)
green beans, peas or other green vegetable to serve
4-6 large pitta breads, to serve (optional)
small handful of mint leaves, roughly torn (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly until they are starting to soften.
Remove any excess fat from the lamb. Increase the heat to high, push the onions and garlic to one side, add the lamb and cook it for about 10 minutes, turning the meat to brown it on all sides. Add 125ml of the red wine, the tomato and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and bring to the boil.
Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 1 hour. Add the remaining 125ml of wine and cook for a further hour.
Add the cannellini beans to the lamb and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the meat is very tender. (If you are not using the beans, continue to cook the lamb for 30 minutes.)
If you are making the hummus, prepare it at this point. Cook your choice of green vegetable. Cut the breads in half (if using), place them in a stack on a large piece of foil, wrap them up, then warm them in the oven for 5 minutes.
With the lamb still in the dish, using two large forks, shred the lamb into smaller pieces and stir it into the sauce. Scatter over the mint leaves (if using) and accompany with the bread and hummus (if using) and the green vegetables.
For older kids and adults, just before serving I like to stir in about 20 pitted kalamata olives and crumble in about 200g feta. You could also serve these at the table for people to add if they wish.
Extracted from Dinner Like a Boss by Katy Holder (Hardie Grant, approx €15). Photography © Benito Martin.