Roast lamb with garlic and rosemary haricot beans

Photographer: Emma
Serves 6

I am not the world’s biggest meat eater.  In fact it was only last night that I pondered why exactly, people upon first meeting me, politely enquire whether or not I am a vegetarian!  Whilst it is not uncommon for my friends to affectionately refer to me as a hippy, I’m not entirely convinced I deserve the title.  Yes, I may be one of the few people I know without a TV and it is true that I recoil at the thought of compostable scraps surreptitiously making their way into my rubbish bin, but in today’s day and age aren’t those things just natural responses to our changing world?

So forgive me if this wee introduction doesn’t wax meaty lyrical, I just can’t find it in me.  I can however say that this a beautiful dish.  Understated in its construction and ingredients, it is one of those simple meals which relies on quality ingredients and perfect cooking times.  And when these things come together it is sure to please the more carnivorous amongst us!


1 rolled lamb roast (approx 1kg)
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
300g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight in cold water
3 cloves garlic, peeled and squashed with the back of your knife
1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped from stalk


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over a high heat, quickly brown the rolled lamb on all sides. Remove from the heat, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast in oven until the meat is tender. The time this takes will vary depending on the weight of the meat but if you like you meat medium rare it should take approximately 50 minutes.
2 Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Season with salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
3 Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and rosemary. Fry for a minute or two until fragrant. Add the beans and continue to fry until they are heated through. Whilst doing so, mash some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon.
4 Place a large spoonful of the mashed beans on the centre of each plate and top with slices of roast lamb.