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Lamb And White Bean Ragoût



1 1/2 c Great Northern beans,Dried-about 12 oz.
3 t Salt
6 lb lamb shoulder (6-7 pounds) -trimmed and,Boned
8 cloves garlic
1 c red wine
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1 t thyme,Dried
1 t marjoram,Dried
1 t basil,Dried
2 bay leaves
2 md onions
5 carrots
35 oz (1 can) Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 c white flour
2 c beef stock (or beef),Canned
1/2 c Nicoise olives
1/2 c fresh parsley leaves-stemmed,firmly packed
1/2 t black pepper,Fresh Ground


PREPARATION:
Rinse, pick over beans, and put them in bowl with cold water to cover by 3 inches. Let stand for 24 hours; drain. Or, put beans in a 5-quart soup kettle or Dutch oven with water to cover, bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and let stand 1 hour; drain. Return drained beans to soup kettle, and add cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are almost tender, about 1 hour. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and continue cooking until the beans are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cut lamb into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Peel and crush the garlic and put it in a non-reactive bowl with the wine, vinegar, 3 tablespoons oil, thyme, marjoram, basil, and bay leaves. Add the lamb and marinate for at least two hours. (Can cover and refrigerate the beans and meat separately overnight.) Peel and chop the onions (2 cups). Peel and cut carrots into 1/2-inch slices. Drain the tomatoes and set vegetables aside separately.
COOKING:
Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 350F. Remove the lamb from the marinade and pat dry on paper toweling. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in the Dutch oven or soup kettle until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, sear the lamb over high heat until well browned, adding additional oil as needed, and removing lamb to a bowl with a slotted spoon or until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 3 minutes. Whisk in the reserved marinade and beef stock. Stir in the tomatoes and 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Return meat to the kettle with any accumulated juices, cover with foil and the lid and bake 1 hour. Skim, stir in the carrots and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and bake until stew thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Rinse and drain the olives. Mince the parsley. Stir in olives and parsley and season with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt to taste.













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