This is a wonderfully warming winter dish. Shoulder of lamb is the most deliciously tender, sweet meat, and is enhanced here by tomatoes and herbs. The beans make it satisfyingly filling.
All you really need with it is a green vegetable or a green salad, but if you’re a spud-lover then baked would be good.
The flavours are deep and the texture is quite rich, so go for a Rioja with plenty of depth and weight: a Reserva would be ideal.
You’ll need a big casserole dish. If yours isn’t big enough, get your butcher to take off the knuckle end of the shoulder, and put both pieces in together.
1 shoulder of lamb
2 400g tins of haricot beans
450ml dry white wine (doesn’t have to be Rioja!)
2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
12 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
12 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
3 good sprigs rosemary, or 1 dessertspoon dried rosemary
Preheat the oven to 140º/Gas 1.
Put the shoulder of lamb, either in one piece or two, into a casserole with a tightly-fitting lid, and cover with the beans and their liquid, the white wine, the onions and shallots, the tinned chopped tomatoes, the garlic cloves, the peppercorns, the herbs and the anchovy. Add a little salt, but not too much; you can adjust it later. Put the lid on, and put it in the oven for four hours. Check on it every hour or so if you can to make sure it’s not drying out. If it is, add some more wine or some water to top up.
At the end of this the meat will be falling off the bone. Take out the bone,and go over the meat to remove any stray bits of skin or fat; most will have rendered down into the sauce but the dish will still look prettier if you tidy it up. Give it a stir, taste for seasoning, reheat it and serve.