Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flageolets For Easter

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Flageolets...the caviar of beans and my favorite side dish to go with a roast leg of lamb. If you have never had them, you are in for a treat.  I warn you, though, they can be rather expensive but well worth the extra $$$.

Flageolets are tiny, tender French bush type beans that are very popular in French cooking.The flageolet has an inedible green pod about 3-inch long and small, light-green, kidney-shaped seeds. Fresh flageolets are occasionally available in the summer. They range from creamy white to light green. Flageolets are removed from the pod when tender and just maturing. This bean of French origin is grown in the fertile soil of California. Its versatile flavor compliments lamb, as well as fish and chicken. If you can't find them, substitute navy beans instead.*

Flageolets can be found at Whole Foods and gourmet stores.


 This recipe is adapted from Bouchon with a few shortcuts here and there.  I suggest serving them as an accompaniment to Provencal Leg of Lamb and adding the drippings from the lamb at the end. It eliminates many hours of making the lamb jus in the original recipe.  In case you want to go through the ordeal, I have included a link below.


2 cups flageolet beans, picked over for stones, soaked at room temperature in 8 cups of water for 24 hours*
Sachet (see below)
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise
1 large carrot, peeled and halved
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
16 cloves Garlic Confit (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon minced thyme
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup Lamb Jus ( here)*See below

    • Make the Sachet: one 7 inch square piece of cheesecloth; 1 head of garlic, split horizontally in half; 1 bunch of thyme (1/4 ounce); 2 bay leaves; 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns. Place it all in the cheesecloth and tie with twine.
    •  Make the Garlic Confit (See Below)

    Place the sachet along with the onion, leek, carrot and drained flageolets in a pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add boiling water if it ever reduced lower than 2 inches above the beans. 

    Make the Garlic Confit* if you have not done so

    Remove and discard the sachet and vegetables and cook the beans for another 1 and a half to 2 hours, or until very tender. Pour the beans into a container along with the liquid and let it cool completely. When ready to serve, drain the beans.

    Add the butter to a large heavy pan on high heat. When the butter is a deep rich brown, remove from heat and stir in garlic confit, shallots, and thyme. Return to medium heat and add the beans and lamb jus*.

    *Making the lamb jus as per his intructions will make you head for the exits.  What I do is take the juices from the lamb after roasting and while it is resting and add to the beans. Stir, bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.

    Serve by itself or with a leg of lamb

    Garlic Confit


    1 cup peeled garlic cloves  
    2 cups canola oil.

    Cut off the root ends of the garlic cloves and discard. Place the cloves small pan and add enough oil to cover them by about one inch. The garlic should all be submerged in oil. Place the saucepan over low-medium heat (use a diffuser if you have gas stove and some extra attention if you have an electric stove).

    The garlic should cook gently- small bubbles that do not break at the surface. Adjust the heat if needed and stir about every 5 minutes for a total of 40 minutes or until the garlic is completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Allow to cool in the oil and store in an airtight container

    This holds in your refrigerator if covered in oil up to one month. It is a fantastic building block for salad dressings, mashed potatoes, marinades, or as a nice simple spread on a baguette.

    *the shortcut is to boil them for 1 minute in 8 cups of water. Turn off heat and let them sit for 1 hour.  Rinse in cold water and proceed with the recipe.

    Recipe adapted from Bouchon
    Photos Google


    1. Mmmmmm, Flageolets, I love them. I still remember in my training making them every day with cream sauce and then serving them with carved leg of lamb and Gratin Potatoes. Thank you for sharing your recipe

    2. Oh my, these beans look amazingly good. I can honestly say that I have never had flageolets but would love to try them. If I can find them this may very well be on my Easter dinner menu. Thank you so much for sharing. Love the idea of soaking with the shallots, bay leaf and fresh herbs. I have all the herbs growing in my herb bed and also have a bay tree. Now I am on a hunt to find flageolets.

      Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

    3. Back to say, I found them very quickly on Amazon and they are from France, YAY. We have a Whole Foods coming soon to our area which I can't wait but until then those hard to find items will just have to be ordered.

      Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

    4. Well, now you have me wanting a leg of lamb, bone-in. I love Patricia Well's recipe for 7 hour lamb and cooked it for years. Then I read Bouchon and it changed my entire way of cooking! It's not the easiest cookbook, although it's a great read. What looks really simple on the page will end up taking hours. But it's a great book to have.


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