Pairing rich meats with a generous quantity of bright herbs cuts the fatty flavor. This is a radical idea for someone like me, who was trained to use herbs as garnishes rather than as a main flavor in a dish. This particular recipe was inspired by the Persian lamb stews I’ve had in L.A., made with copious amounts of herbs cooked with the meat. This tender, flavorful meat is great with crispy shallots and brown rice or served over couscous. You can also use lamb neck in this recipe, if you can get your hands on it.
Lamb neck is layered with muscle and fat, not unlike pork belly, and this braising method suits it beautifully.
To make the beans: In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme and cook until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
To cook the lamb: Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. In a large Dutch oven with a 12-qt [11.4-L] capacity over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until hot
but not smoking.
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