Add some healthy relish to a hearty lamb dinner

Pair seared lamb with an herbed orange and yogurt sauce

INGREDIENTS

1.5 to 2 kg lamb shoulder

Salt

Ground black pepper

For the dressing

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, diced

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, halved

1 garlic head, halved

1 bay leaf

1 fresh thyme sprig

Salt

Ground black pepper

500 g white beans, soaked in water overnight

6 cups water

4 beef bouillon cubes

For the sauce

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large white onion, coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large celery rib, coarsely chopped

Salt

Ground black pepper

1 garlic head, halved crosswise

1 bay leaf

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup water

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 cups fresh mixed herbs chopped (tarragon, dill, basil, mint, chives, and parsley)

1/4 cup and 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt

PROCEDURE

For the lamb

1. Pat dry the lamb shoulder and season with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature for about an hour.

2. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).

3. In a medium-sized roasting pan over medium high heat, warm olive oil. Place the lamb fatty-side down and sear for about 5 minutes until the fat turns a deep brown. Flip the lamb to the other side and sear; continue on all sides until well-browned. Once all sides have been seared, transfer the lamb to a plate and set aside.

4. In the same pan, add onions, carrots, and celery. Add two to three tbsp. of olive oil, if necessary. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes until caramelized, stirring frequently and scraping off the brown bits from the pan.

5. Add garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Turn heat to low and continue cooking for another three minutes.

6. Add wine, water, chicken bouillon cube, and one cup of the orange juice.

7. Place back the lamb in the middle of the pan. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for two and a half to three hours or until the meat is fork-tender.

8. Transfer the lamb carefully to the cutting board and let rest.

For the beans

1. In a pan, sauté onion, garlic, and tomatoes in olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a pot over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme and cook for three to five minutes until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Drain the beans and add them to the pot. Add water and beef bouillon cubes and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a steady simmer. Let beans cook until they swell and turn tender, stirring occasionally for about one hour. Add more water throughout the cooking process to maintain a stew-like consistency.

4. Add in sautéed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the sauce

1. Strain the liquid from the pan through a fine mesh strainer into a sauce pan. Skim off any excess fat.

2. Add the remaining orange juice to the pan and cook over medium heat. Reduce liquid for 10 minutes until it’s about half of the original amount. Sauce should be thick enough to cover the back of a spoon at this point.

3. Remove the sauce from heat. While still hot, stir in the mixed herbs. Allow sauce to cool slightly then pour in yogurt as you whisk the sauce vigorously. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly

Ladle the beans onto a serving platter and place lamb on top of the beans. Pour herb sauce over the lamb. Serve hot.

This story was originally published in Northern Living, May 2017.

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