350g organic lamb scrag end
75g pancetta or smoked, streaky bacon chopped into small pieces
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp rosemary (fresh or dried)
splash of red wine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml chicken stock
400g tin cannellini beans
Preheat your oven to gas mark 3/160ºC and get out a medium-sized casserole dish with a lid. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb all over. Place it in the casserole dish for a minute or two while you get on with the rest of the stew. Wipe out the frying pan with a piece of kitchen towel and add the bacon or pancetta. Fry for a few minutes until cooked and just beginning to turn golden. Stir in the onion, garlic and the herbs. Add the splash of red wine and allow it to bubble up. Stir in the tomatoes and the chicken stock and pour this mixture over the lamb in the casserole dish. Replace the lid and slide into the oven. Leave to cook for 4 hours. Once the 4 hours are up, carefully lift out the lamb joint onto a board or plate and spoon the meat from the bone. It should be very soft. Using a tea towel or oven glove, tip the casserole dish to one side and spoon off the fat that has pooled on the top of the stew and discard. Add the lamb meat back into the stew along with the drained can of cannellini beans and return to the oven to heat through for another 20 minutes. Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and season to taste with salt and pepper.
On the bone and ideal for slow cooking, this is the lamb of Irish stew – and many other hearty dishes.