As promised in today’s Pairing column, which you can read here, here’s another wonderful dish to enjoy with a cabernet sauvignon, such as our Wine of the Week, Pedronicelli 2009 Dry Creek Valley Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.

Lamb Brochettes with Cannellini Beans and Braised Greens • Serves 4

  • 8 ounces dried cannellini or Great Northern beans
  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb, preferably leg meat
  • 7 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish pimenton dulce (sweet paprika)
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 medium fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 small rosemary sprig
  • 1 pound baby Lacinato kale, rinsed, (see Note below) or 1 bunch Lacinato kale or other sturdy green, rinsed, trimmed and cut into 1-inch wide crosswise slices
  1.  Put the beans in a medium saucepan, cover with water by at least 2 inches and soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Several hours before finishing the dish, cut the meat into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks. Set aside briefly.
  3. Peel 3 of the garlic cloves and put them into a large mortar or suribachi. Sprinkle generously with salt and use a wooden pestle to grind to a paste. Add the coriander seeds and crush them with the pestle. Add the pimonton dulce and several turns of black pepper; stir in the olive oil. Add the cubed lamb and turn it repeatedly to coat it evenly with the garlic mixture.
  4. Thread the lamb onto skewers.
  5. Set the skewers of lamb in a glass baking dish or on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
  6. To finish the beans, drain them, cover with fresh water by at least 2 inches and set over medium high heat . Add the quartered onion, thyme sprigs, rosemary sprig and 3 of the remaining garlic cloves; season with salt. When the water boils, reduce the heat and simmer gently until the beans are very tender, from 40 to 55 minutes, depending on the specific beans used. Remove from the heat, cover and keep hot.
  7. Pour a little olive oil into a large saute pan set over medium heat, pass the remaining clove of garlic through a press into the pan and add the greens. Add a generous splash of water, season with salt and cover. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the greens wilt. Uncover, turn the greens a time or two and cook until tender. Taste, correct for salt, remove from the heat, cover and keep hot.
  8. Working quickly, heat a stove top grill or preheat an oven broiler. While the grill or broiler heats, finish the beans. Use tongs to remove and discard the onion, garlic cloves and thyme sprigs. Drain off the cooking liquid, reserving about half a cup. Pass the beans through a strainer or food mill, taste, correct for salt, cover and set aside.
  9. When the grill or broiler is hot, cook the brochettes for 3 minutes, rotate and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more for rare meat, a bit longer for medium rare.
  10. To serve, divide the white bean puree among individual plates. Add 3 brochettes to each plate, resting them half on and half off the beans. Add greens to each plate and serve immediately.

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