Lamb Stew with Beans and Lambs’ Trotters

Blanquette d’agneau aux haricots et aux pieds d’agneau

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • For

    five or six

    people

Appears in

Cuisine of the Sun

By Roger Vergé

Published 1979

  • About


Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg ( lb) boned shoulder of lamb
  • 3 lambs’ trotters
  • 400 g (14 oz) dried ‘flageolet’ beans
  • 2 onions
  • 1 leek
  • 1–2 cloves
  • 6 carrots
  • 3 little bouquets garnis, each made up of a sprig of thyme, 4 sprigs of parsley, a small stick of celery and a bayleaf tied with a thread
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 20 g ( oz) peppercorns
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 300 ml (½ pint) double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chervil
  • salt, pepper

Method

Twelve hours in advance

Soak the beans in plenty of cold water.

Trim as much fat as possible and cut the meat into large chunks, each one weighing about 40–50 g (about 1½ oz). Put the chunks into a bowl of iced water and chill in the refrigerator for 12 hours, changing the water once or twice. This process draws the blood out of the meat and whitens it.

Cooking the dish

Drain the soaked beans and cook in 3 litres ( pints) cold water with one of the onions stuck with one or two cloves, 2 carrots, the leek and 1 bouquet garni. Allow to cook gently over a moderate heat for 2 hours. Skim frequently and add salt after ¼ hour. The cooking time will vary according to the quality and age of the beans, so try one from time to time.

While the beans are cooking, rub the lambs’ trotters with lemon juice and plunge them into 3 litres (5¼ pints) of boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes to blanch or ‘scald’ them and then refresh under the cold tap. Remove the hooves and put the feet to cook in 3 litres ( pints) cold water to which you have added the juice of a lemon and a tablespoon of flour, first mixed to a thin cream with water, 2 carrots, a bouquet garni and a few peppercorns. Cook for about 2 hours (but take care not to overcook them).

While the beans and lambs’ trotters are cooking, drain the pieces of lamb and put them to cook in a saucepan with 3 litres ( pints) cold water to which you have added 1 stock cube, 2 whole peeled carrots, 1 whole onion, a few peppercorns and a bouquet garni. Add a little salt and cook over a moderate heat for 1½ hours.

When the lambs’ trotters are cooked, drain them and allow to cool. Then skin them completely, remove the bones and cut into fairly large pieces.

When they are cooked, drain the pieces of lamb (5) and reduce their cooking liquid over a brisk heat until you have only 1 litre ( pints) left. Put the lamb and the chopped lambs’ trotters (6) into a flame-proof earthenware casserole and keep hot while you make the sauce.

Mix the cream, Dijon mustard and egg yolks in a bowl and add the reduced cooking liquid from the lamb (7). Whisk thoroughly and pour the mixture into a saucepan. Heat very gently, whisking all the time and adding salt and pepper. Just before the sauce comes to the boil, remove from the heat and strain through a fine wire sieve over the pieces of lamb in the casserole. Drain the beans – which should be very hot – remove the various vegetables with which they have cooked and fold them into the blanquette. Heat them through, briefly, sprinkle with chopped parsley and chervil, and serve.

Recommended wines

  • Red Bordeaux (Saint-Emilion or Estèphe)