Braised Lamb Neck Fillet
A rustic dish from the south west of France where the famous cassoulet comes from. The best time to do this dish is June/July when the beans and pulses are fresh. If you are using fresh beans, reduce the cooking time by half (that means adding the beans at the same time as all the other ingredients).
It is also an excellent dish and even tastier towards the end of the year when the lamb becomes mutton. This dish can beprepared 1 day in advance. As an alternative flageolet or coco beans can replace the butter beans.
|2 tbsp||Unsalted butter|
|1 tbsp||Olive oil|
|4 x 300g||Lamb or mutton neck fillets, sinews trimmed|
|2 pinches||Freshly ground black pepper|
|5||Tomatoes, ripe, cut in quarters and then in half|
|6||Garlic cloves, peeled, crushes|
|250g||Butter beans, soaked overnight is 1L cold water|
|100g||Bacon, smoked, streaky, rind removed|
|200g||Garlic sausage skinned and roughly chopped|
|1 pinch||Freshly ground black pepper|
|1||Bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 6 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, 6 sprigs parsley)|
- Preheat the oven to 110ºC.
- Season the lamb fillets with salt and pepper.
- On a medium heat in a large frying pan 24cm heat the butter and olive oil until it begins to foam. Sear and colour the lamb fillets for 8 minutes turning every 2 minutes to achieve reach a deep golden brown.
- Transfer the lamb to a large casserole dish (24cmØ x 10cm); reserve.
- Spoon the fat from the pan and add 100g water, scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve the caramelised juices. Pour these juices over the lamb fillets.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, bouquet garni and the remaining 750g water. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to simmering point, cover and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, add the drained butter beans, bacon and the garlic sausage. Cook for a further 1 hour at the same temperature. Taste and correct the seasoning.
- Serve directly from the oven to the table.