Lamb & Green Bean Casserole

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I like to make this in advance and then leave it in the oven to cool down completely. This seems to make the meat even softer, and then I just warm it up a bit on the stovetop to serve. This is a great one-pot meal that needs just the time to prepare and chop up the ingredients, and not much more attention from then on. You can use chunks of lamb or beef here, and throw in a couple of potatoes, cut up into chunks, with the beans, if you like. The green beans alone are also delicious cooked like this; still served with crumblings of feta that melt a little into the tomato sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 g(1 lb2 oz) deboned trimmed leg or shoulder of lamb, cut into 4 cm( inch) chunks
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 20 g(¾ oz) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 300 g(10½ oz) tinned diced tomatoes
  • 1 small piece cassia bark (or cinnamon)
  • 400 g(14 oz) green beans, topped (leave the tails on)
  • 200 g(7 oz) feta cheese, cut into small chunks

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole over high heat. When it is very hot, add the meat and brown on all sides. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for a few minutes to soften it. When the onion starts to brown, add the butter and garlic. When you can smell the garlic, add the tomatoes. Season with salt and add the cassia or cinnamon. Add 500 ml(17 fl oz/2 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Put on the lid and put the casserole in the oven.

Cook for 45 minutes or so until the meat is soft, and then add the beans, a little more salt and another 250 ml(9 fl oz/1 cup) of water if it needs it. Mix through well, cover and put the casserole back into the oven for another hour. Remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes until it turns a little golden on the top. Turn off the oven, put the lid back on and leave the casserole in there for about an hour so that the meat is soft and melting. You can warm it up on the stovetop to serve.

Sprinkle the feta over the hot servings, so that it melts slightly, and serve with chunks of bread.