Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lamb with Lima Beans and Onion Port Jam

Yeah, I thought about "posing" the food, and then thought better of it. Oh look everybody, Lamb chops! Oooh, elegant.

Sure, it sounds plain, but these were exceptional lima beans (really!). I picked up a couple inexpensive lamb chops for Mr. Eat The Blog as a treat, and adjusted the lima beans to suit the vegetarians. I served it with cous cous and onion port jam. I also made a batch of squash rolls from acorn squash that worked nicely.

The recipe for the lamb and lima beans comes from the November 1971 issue of Gourmet magazine.

Night Before:

Sort and rinse 6 cups dried lima beans (small ones). Cover with water and soak until morning.

Next Day:

In a cheesecloth, tie 3 sprigs parsley, 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns and 1 bay leaf. Cover with water and simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Set aside or chill until needed.

While you broil the lamb, make a roux in a large pot by whisking 4 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons flour. Cook 2 minutes. remove from heat, stir in 3/4 cup (or more if needed) warmed bean cooking water. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Add the beans and warm through. Adjust salt and pepper.

Serve with broiled lamb. The magazine suggests using the broiler drippings to additionally flavour the beans-I skipped this so Danny could eat the beans.

For the Onion Jam:

This is a great recipe to know and keep on hand for meat dishes. It is simple enough to make, and keeps well covered in the fridge.

You Will Need:

2 Large Sweet onions (about 2 lbs.)
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup ruby port
1/2 cup dry red wine

Slice the onions 1/4 inch thick into rounds. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven and add the onions. Stir to coat, then cover and cook ten minutes over medium heat. Remove lid, reduce heat to low and cook anouther 25 minutes or until very deep gold. Stir in the sugar and cook another 10-15 minutes, stirring, until quite dark and carmelised looking. Add the port and wine. Increase heat to high and boil rapidly until liquid evaporated and onions turn to jam (about 10 minutes). Cool. Serve slightly warmed.

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