Barbecued leg of lamb and white navy beans ラムのバーベキューとネービービーンズ

japanese cake

This was our Memorial day barbecue. Strictly speaking, this is not a barbecue according to the traditional definition of a barbecue as “low temperature long cooking with smoke”.  Nonetheless, for our purposes, we will call it barbecue. While thinking about what we could serve with the lamb, I mused that it would be nice to have something different. My wife remembered that several times in the past we served lamb with beans and found this recipe for navy beans ネービービーンズ . The navy bean dish was a group production. I was chief-in-charge of chopping (and as you will see there is a fair amount of chopping involved.)  My wife prepared the beans, spices, put it together and cooked it.  I made an instant reduced port wine sauce to pour over the meat and sautéed green beans as a side .

Lamb and beans (both the navy and green) are a good combination .

The original recipe was called “Braised lamb shanks with white beans“. We just used the white bean part of the recipe and served it with our barbecued leg of lamb.

Ingredients: (4 servings):

For beans

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    2 small onions, chopped fine

    2 small carrots, chopped fine

    2 celery ribs, chopped fine

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    2 cups cooked white beans (preferably Great Northern or navy). We used canned Navy beans rinsed and drained.

    chicken broth just to cover beans

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 bay leaf

For gremolata

    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leafed)

    1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

    3 garlic cloves, minced


For Beans

  1. In a saucepan heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring, 2 or 3 minutes (#1, below). 
  2. Add beans, enough chicken broth to just cover the beans, butter, and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally and adding enough remaining broth to keep beans moist and to reach a creamy consistency, about 30 minutes (#2, below). 
  3. Discard bay leaf and add half of gremolata and salt and pepper to taste (#4, below).

For gremolata:

I hand chopped garlic, parsley and prepared the lemon zest using micro-grater. (#3 below)

We tasted the white beans (#1, below). Because of the gremolata, it had a nice bright fresh taste of lemon, garlic and parsley. The white beans were creamy with the savory and slightly sweet flavors of all the carrots, celery and onion that was added. The leg of lamb was deboned, seasoned with salt, black pepper and chopped fresh rosemary mixed with olive oil. Using indirect heat, I barbecued it in my Weber grill with added wood chips until the thickest center registered 140F (#2, below). I let it rest for 10 minutes. It was pink inside but I could have  cooked it a bit less. During the rest period, quite a good amount of au jus accumulated. I decided to make a quick sauce (#4, below). I poured the au jus into a frying pan, added port wine (cheap Taylor port I keep for cooking), threw in sprigs of fresh rosemary and reduced it by half, I added a small amount of balsamic vinegar and finished it with pats of cold butter.

This was a quite satisfactory Memorial day barbecue. Although a bit overcooked, the lamb had a nice lamb-y flavor and rosemary scent was a perfect combination. The sauce added a slight sweet and sour taste and moisten the meat. The white beans were a perfect accompaniment for the lamb. I am sure I opened a nice red for this dinner but at this point, I cannot remember what we had.

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