The best thing about growing your own broad beans is that you can harvest them when they are small and eat the bean and the pod.
This is an Ottolenghi recipe that I have made twice in the last few weeks: once when Joe was here and again on Sunday. It isn’t a pretty dish, but it is utterly delicious and simple. In Sunday’s dish I was able to use our first fresh wet onions and garlic from the bed outside out back door. Because it is wet garlic and the individual cloves haven’t formed and been divided by papery skins I just used two whole ones in the dish – we also really like garlic. Use less if you want.
Bethlehem Lamb and Broad Beans: 500g or so of lamb shoulder (I used one of our Jacob lambs born last year); one onion; two bulbs of wet garlic; 150-200ml of chicken stock or water; lots of olive oil; 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed; seasoning.
Heat some oil in a large frying pan which has a lid. Gently fry the chopped onion and one finely chopped bulb of garlic. After about ten minutes or so before it has any colour add in the broad bean pods – ends removed and chopped into lengths about 3-4 cm long. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove into a bowl. Add a little more oil to the pan and brown the lamb on all sides. Once this has been done, add back the bean mix to the pan, add some stock and season. Cover and simmer on a very low heat until tender – about 45 minutes to an hour.
Just before you are ready to eat gently fry the last bulb of garlic in some olive oil, then add the garlic and cumin to the stew. We eat this with white rice and yoghurt.