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    Braised Lamb with Beans and Tomato

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    Braised Lamb with Beans and Tomato

    This recipe is based on one from the 'Economy Meat Dishes' chapter of The Polish Cookbook by Zofia Czerny, which was first published in 1961. I've upgraded it a little by adding soured cream, which goes into many of the less economical stews.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight soaking
    • Cooking time: 135 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours and 25 minutes, plus overnight soaking 25 minutes


    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 tbsp lard or butter
    • 350g haricot beans, soaked overnight
    • 500–650g boned shoulder of lamb, cubed
    • 1 bouquet garni, consisting of 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs parsley and 2 sprigs thyme, tied together with string
    • 5 tbsp tomato purée
    • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 5 tbsp soured cream
    • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped


    1. Fry the onion in the lard in a capacious casserole. Drain the beans and add to the dish with the lamb, bouquet garni and enough water (about 1½ litres) to cover generously. Do not add salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours. Check the beans regularly and as soon as they are tender, stir in the tomato purée, the vinegar, salt and pepper. Both the purée and the salt will stop the beans softening any more. Add more hot water to the casserole if the stew gets too thick. Discard the bouquet garni. The stew can be prepared to this point in advance, then reheated thoroughly when required.
    2. Just before serving, draw off the heat, let the bubbles subside a little and then stir in the soured cream. Taste and adjust seasonings, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

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    Drinks recommendation

    A soft Cabernet Sauvignon will work well with the lamb and tomato, while the cream will soften the wine's flavours.


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    3 stars