Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb, Creamy Cannellini Beans Recipe
Photo by Susan Bell
Serves 6-8

Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb, Creamy Cannellini Beans


If you are looking for inspiration for a Sunday lunch fit for spring or Easter, look no further. This is a super way to cook a leg of lamb as the meat will fall off the bone when you come to carve it. You’ll notice that I’ve added anchovies (it’s a wonderful little tip)  – these will dissolve into the lamb and help to intensify the flavour of the meat without adding any ‘fishiness’, so don’t be hesitant to include them. The cannellini beans lend a beautiful creamy, velvety texture to the dish. Serve with seasonal veg of choice.

  • 2 kg- 2.5 kg leg of lamb
  • ½ small jar of anchovies
  • 10-12 clove garlic
  • 1 small bunch of rosemary
  • 2 handfuls of black olives
  • 500ml lamb or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper

For the creamy cannellini beans:

  • 1-2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • A generous grind of black pepper
  • 2 tins of cannellini, drained
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 strips of lemon peel, taken off with vegetable peeler
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • The juice of half a lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 160fan.

Trim any excess fat from the lamb and heat a large flameproof roasting tray or casserole dish and brown the lamb on all sides, remove, and discard the fat from the pan.

Add the anchovies, garlic, rosemary and olives and return the lamb to the dish along with the stock, cover with a lid or a layer of parchment paper and foil tightly and roast in the oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours until the meat is tender, basting occasionally with juices.

Cook uncovered for the last half hour. Rest the lamb for 20-30 minutes, covered, reserve the juices for serving.

For the beans:

In a medium saucepan, sauté the shallots, garlic, bay leaves and thyme for 6- 8 minutes, add salt and pepper, then the beans and chickpeas, with 1.5 bean tin of water and the lemon peel strips.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened and the beans are beginning to break up, remove the lemon peel, thyme, and bay leaves.

Put half the beans and liquid in a blender with the tahini and lemon juice, blitz to smooth, return to the pan, check for seasoning and keep warm until the lamb is ready, or reheat, this can also be made a day ahead.

Serve the lamb with a helping of beans and veg of your choice.

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