This is a typical Floyd peasant dish that is full of flavour. It utilises a simple and economical cut of lamb and is best served in the middle of the table so that people can all dig in and share it.
A shoulder of lamb weighing about 2.5kg, boned
4 cloves of garlic
A few sprigs of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the beans
2tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1tsp thyme leaves
1 x 400g can of flageolet or cannellini beans, drained and washed
1 x 250g can of chopped tomatoes
150ml beef or lamb stock
Preheat the oven to 175C/gas mark 4. Slice the garlic cloves, make some incisions in the lamb and push in the garlic slices. Fold the lamb in half and tie with string. Place the lamb in a roasting tray, season, scatter over the rosemary and slow-roast for 1-1¾ hours, basting every so often.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and thyme for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the beans, tomatoes and stock, season, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 30-40 minutes, adding a little more stock if necessary – the beans should just be coated in the sauce.
To serve, remove the string from the lamb, cut into 1cm or so slices and transfer to a serving dish, spooning the beans around.