Cooking the beans and lamb at the same time frees you to work on other recipes in the menu. We loved the use of dry beans, but for a quicker approach, substitute drained canned beans. Just stir them in along with the bacon.
6 (3/4-pound) lamb shanks, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups finely chopped carrot
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 cup dried cannellini beans or other white beans
4 bacon slices
4 garlic cloves, sliced
Rosemary sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb; cook 12 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from skillet. Add carrot, onion, and celery to skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add wine. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, rosemary, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Return lamb to skillet (skillet will be very full). Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until lamb is very tender, turning lamb once. Remove lamb from skillet; bring liquid to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans; place in Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until tender. Drain.
Cook bacon in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from Dutch oven, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in Dutch oven. Crumble bacon. Heat drippings over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until golden. Stir in beans and bacon; remove from heat.
Divide beans evenly among 6 plates; arrange lamb on beans. Spoon sauce over lamb. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.
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