The star of this dish is really the stewed green beans; the patient and slow cooking of onions, garlic and tomatoes giving them wonderful flavour. Green beans are a great vegetable for long slow braising for whilst they break down a little and loose their “squeakiness”, they don’t completely wilt. I could happily consume just the beans on their own and in fact we had the leftovers one night heated up and topped with a fried egg. The lamb cut I used was a small rolled loin which is great for quick roasting. They layer of fat on the outside keeps the meat moist and after a quick 20 minute blast in a hot oven the meat comes out a perfect medium pink. I topped the lamb with a little goats cheese as the sharpness really complements the sweetness of the lamb and the beans.
Ingredients – Serves 2, with leftover beans
2 onions, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
500g green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 x 400gm can diced tomatoes
½ cup rich beef stock
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 rolled lamb loin weighing about 500g
50g goats cheese or goats curd (optional)
Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the tomato paste and fry to caramelise it. Add the beans and coat them in the tomato paste and onions and cook for another few minutes before adding the canned tomatoes, sugar and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for at least 40 minutes but if you can leave them longer they will taste even better, 1 hour is ideal. Toward the end of the cooking time take the lid off and if the mixture is too wet turn up the heat and cook uncovered until the liquid is reduced.
To make the lamb, preheat the oven to 220C. Bring the lamb to room temperature and season with salt and pepper. I don’t use any oil to cook the lamb as the layer of fat on the loin is sufficient. When the oven has heated up place the lamb of a baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. To serve place some green beans on each plate and top with thick cut slices of the lamb loin and a dollop of goats cheese on top of the lamb slices.