This butter bean stew is packed full of gutsy flavours, but it all depends on making a good tomato sauce. I find that the whole peeled plum tomatoes in a can are a superior product and much better value than canned chopped tomatoes. I will also pay a little extra for a more authentic-looking Italian can and I haven’t been disappointed yet!
– 4 x 150g (5oz) lamb chops or cutlets, well-trimmed
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
– Pared rind of 1 lemon
– Handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
Butter Bean Stew
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 large red onion, finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
– Good pinch of dried chilli flakes
– 150 ml (1/4 pint) chicken stock
– 1 x 400g (14oz) cans of butter beans, drained and rinsed
– 50g (2oz) feta cheese
– 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Rub the lamb chops with the olive oil and garlic. Season well and pare over the lemon rind, then add the rosemary, mixing well to combine. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the beans, or overnight in the fridge, covered with cling film, is fine too.
2. To make the butter bean stew, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over a medium heat. Tip in the onion, garlic, sage and chilli flakes and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Pour in the stock and allow it to bubble down, stirring. Then add the tomatoes, crushing them up with your hands, along with the red wine vinegar and oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and stir in the beans. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
3. Meanwhile, put a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat until it’s very hot. Brush the marinade ingredients off the lamb chops, then add to the pan. Reduce the heat a little to a medium to high heat and quickly sear for 5-6 minutes, turning regularly, until just cooked through and tender but still pink in the middle. Leave to rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
4. Spoon the butter bean stew into wide-rimmed bowls, then carve the lamb chops into thick slices and arrange on top. Crumble over the feta and scatter the parsley on top to serve.