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Savory Lamb with White Beans

This is a great dish to serve to a group or to have leftovers for a couple of people for a few days.  You can cook it a day or so ahead of time - the flavors get more complex over time.

Rosemary would be a delicious - and classic - addition to the lamb and white beans but we were out.  In the spirit of working my way through the pantry and not wanting to make a special trip to the store, I worked with what we had on hand.  I sniffed my way through our jars of dried herbs while the lamb was cooking to pick the best options - thyme and parsley.

The lamb shank can be either frozen or thawed when you begin to cook it - either way you'll end up at the same place.


Savory Lamb with White Beans

Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large heavy guage skillet with deep sides or a Dutch oven.  Turn heat to medium and begin to brown 1 lamb shank.

While the lamb is browning, peel and slice 3-4 cloves garlic and add to skillet.  Stir garlic and lower heat if necessary to prevent garlic from burning.

Add 1 pound dry white beans to skillet and cover with boiling water.  (If you start with beans that have been soaked and drained you'll need less water and the dish will cook faster.)  Simmer lamb and beans, adding more water as necessary, for an hour or so.  The goal is to end up with tender, moist beans and lamb that is falling off the bone.

While lamb and beans are simmering, wash and chop 1 small bunch kale.  Slice 1 shallot and fry in olive oil until shallt is slightly carmelized.  When lamb is falling off the bone and beans are tender, flake lamb off the bone into the beans with a fork. Add carmelized shallot.  Season with parsley and thyme (or rosemary if you have it), sea salt and black pepper to taste.  Stir in 1 teaspoon Arizona Rangland Honey, add kale and cover.  When kale is tender and bright green, stir into lamb and beans and serve.

A crisp salad of bitter greens with lemon juice and olive oil would be a perfect compliment to this rich and filling dish.