The season of stews and casseroles is now well established and more and more I am craving comfort food , you can't beat that smug satisfied feeling of walking through the door after a busy day at work to be greeted by the aroma of a wholesome stew or casserole ready in the slow cooker. Lamb is one of my favourite meats as it reared so well locally , the butter beans are to provide a lovely nutritious plumper to the casserole.
If you don't have a slow cooker don't despair this casserole also cooks beautifully in the oven too in about 2 1/2 hours, so its just a case of planning ahead a bit.
- Diced casserole lamb - ask your butcher for whats best value
- Butter beans - either a drained tin, or dried and soak your own overnight until plump
- 1/2 a can or bottle of beer - I used Murphy's stout but a mild is nice too, or even a local brown ale, just watch the sweetness of the resulting sauce
- Stock - lamb or vegetable, I used E cuisines - vegetable - 150mls approx
- 2 sticks of celery - chopped
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- Onion - peeled , sliced and roughly chopped
- Garlic - couple of cloves- crushed
- Parsley - fresh or dried
- Thyme - fresh or dried
- Bay leaf
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sunflower oil
- Heat a little oil in a large frying pan
- Fry off the diced lamb until it is well coloured, drain and remove from pan to your waiting slow cooker. If you are using a slow cooker your ovenproof casserole dish.
- In the same pan, now add the celery, onion and garlic and cook until softened, again add to your slow cooker or dish.
- Now de-glaze the pan with your beer, tomatoes and stock , bring this to a gentle simmer and add all the other ingredients to the pan, except for the butter beans.
- Pour this into your slow cooker or oven proof dish, add the butter beans and stir to mix together.
- Cook on high in to your slow cooker for approx 6 hours ( could be longer) or if using a conventional oven for approximately 2 1/2 hours on 150C fan
- Your casserole is ready when the lamb is melting tender and the beans soft and yielding.
- If using a regular oven you may need to add more stock if the casserole becomes a little dry
- Serve accompanied by some great bread and green vegetables.