Thursday, September 05, 2013


makes 6 servings

Lamb roast: 
2 cups fresh basil leaves 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast, tied (a butcher can do this) 
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper 

4 sprigs thyme 
1 small shallot, finely chopped 
1 garlic clove, finely grated 
1 cup coarse polenta 
1 cup heavy cream 
3 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth 
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper 

Beans and assembly: 
1/3 cup sugar 
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek) 
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more 
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/4" thick, divided 
3 ounces thick-cut bacon, sliced crosswise 1/4" thick 
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed 
freshly ground black pepper 
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems 

For lamb roast: Preheat oven to 325°F. Blend basil and oil in a food processor until smooth. Place lamb in a roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper and rub basil purée all over. Cover with foil, and cook until fork-tender, 3-3 1/2 hours. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Remove foil and roast lamb until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Let rest 30 minutes. Pour pan juices into a measuring cup and skim; set jus aside. 

For polenta: Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Mix thyme, shallot, garlic, polenta, cream, and 3 cups broth in a 13x9x2" baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake, without stirring, until polenta is softened and liquid is almost completely absorbed, 60-75 minutes. Thin polenta with more broth, if needed. 

For beans and assembly: Bring sugar, vinegar, chili paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add half of leeks, reduce heat, and simmer until soft, 8-10 minutes. Drain; set leeks aside. Wipe out saucepan. Cook bacon over medium heat until fat renders and bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add remaining uncooked leeks to saucepan and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add beans, bacon, and reserved boiled leeks and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Untie lamb and thinly slice. Divide polenta among bowls. Top with lamb, beans, and herbs; drizzle with jus.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Justus Drugstore, 106 W Main Street, Smithville, Missouri; Bon Appétit, September 2013

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