Lamb, chard & borlotti beans with spring mint & caper sauce recipe image

Print Lamb, chard & borlotti beans with spring mint & caper sauce

Lamb and mint is a classic combination. Too much sugar is often used in commercial mint sauces and it roams too near the taste of toothpaste in my opinion. This is a staunchly savoury version with piquancy from the vinegar and a briney smack from the capers. We grow and sell borlotti beans in their pods later in the season. At this time of year tinned beans are a suitable and swift replacement, they soak up seasoning and aromatics very well when reheated.

Ingredients

  • 2 lamb leg steaks
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 large or 2 small onions
  • Oil for frying e.g. sunflower
  • 300g chard
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 15g mint
  • 1 tin borlotti beans
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  1. Start by removing the lamb from the fridge to come to room temperature. Place the capers in a cup of cold water to purge the salt. Peel and finely slice the onion(s). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the saucepan and gently cook the onion for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the stalks. Wash the stalks and finely dice them. Add the chard stalks and a pinch of salt to the onions and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add a dash of water if they look like drying out and catching on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Meanwhile, take the time to wash and coarsely shred the chard leaves. Peel and finely chop or crush the garlic. Juice the lemon. Wash the mint and shake it dry. Remove the leaves from the stalks and chop them finely. Mix the chopped mint with the vinegar. Add the garlic and bay to the onions and chard. Cook for 2 more minutes. Drain the beans and add them to the pan. Fill the empty tin a quarter full of water and add that too.
  4. Bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes to warm the beans. Remove the beans from the heat, season well with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Leave the beans to sit and soak up the flavour.
  5. Drain the capers, squeeze out any excess water and coarsely chop them. Add them to the mint and vinegar. Add enough olive oil until you have a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Heat up a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  6. Season the lamb on both sides with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, fry the steaks for just shy of 2 minutes on each side, until nicely coloured. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes. While the lamb rests, return the beans to the heat and add the chard leaves.
  7. Cook them gently for a few minutes until they have wilted. Check the seasoning and adjust to your taste. Stir any juices from the lamb into the borlotti beans. Serve the steaks with the beans and the mint and caper sauce on the side.
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