ONE of Barbara Pym's churchgoing ladies met the objection to
Ordinary Time's relentless green with pragmatism, on the basis that
there are numerous festivals to cheer us on our way. Harvest is
upon us, too, and this reminder of our need for thanksgiving is
helpful. Maybe these seasonal offerings can assist.
This Lamb and bean casserole is a one-pot
wonder, and can easily be scaled up to feed more.
1.5kg (3 lb) lamb shoulder
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small tin anchovy fillets, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 tablespoons flour
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g/14 oz)
1 tin baked beans (400g/14 oz)
1 tin white flageolet beans (400g/14
handful of picked, crushed thyme
In a large casserole dish, brown the lamb joint (I used one on
the bone) all over in a little oil. Remove to a side plate, add
more oil to the pan, and soften the onion, carrots, and celery. Add
the leeks and garlic, and fry off for another couple of minutes.
Add the anchovies with their oil, and tomato puree, then stir in
the flour. Let this cook through for a minute, then add the
tomatoes and both beans, along with the tin of water. Add a further
tinful of water, and bring everything to the boil, stirring all the
time. Add in a splash of Worcestershire sauce, seasoning, and the
thyme, and return the meat to the pan also.
Place it in the oven at 180°C/ 350°F/Gas 4 for at least two
hours. Serve it with some crusty bread.
Something lighter brings together pears and cobnuts for a
Pear and blue cheese salad. Endives are in season,
but iceberg or Baby Gem lettuce can also work, with walnuts a fine
alternative to cobnuts. Creamy Roquefort is best.
1 large iceberg/2-3 endive or Baby Gem
4 celery stalks, chopped
125g (4 oz) cobnuts (shelled weight)
Half a bunch of parsley, roughly
125g (4 oz) Roquefort cheese, cubed
4 pears, peeled and de-cored
2 tablespoons red wine or cider
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black
De-stalk the lettuce and wash the leaves. Scatter over it the
celery, cobnuts, and parsley, then crumble the cheese over it.
Remove the woody triangle of core from the pears, then chunk into
thumb-size pieces and arrange over the top.
Whisk together the vinegar and mustard with the seasoning, then
slowly whisk in the sesame and sunflower oils. Before serving,
whisk up the dressing again to remix, and pour over the salad.