Gigot Haricots (Leg of Lamb with White Beans)

This recipe of leg of lamb with white beans is also called Gigot à la Bretonne, from Brittany, possibly because many lambs are raised in the west of France.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 2 lbs. navy beans, dry
  • 2 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 medium onions, peeled
  • 3 tomatoes, unpeeled
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 leg of lamb (4 lbs.)
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and diced


  • Put the navy beans in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak for 1 hour. Then drain and wash them under cold water.
  • Fill a French oven with cold water. Pour in the beans with the thyme, bay leaf, and parsley. Peel the onions and add them whole to the pot with the whole tomatoes. Stir well, then cover and put on low heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 90 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Stick the garlic cloves in the lamb around the bone. Take a large ovenproof dish and put the lamb on it. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and pepper on it. Cut ¼ cup butter in cubes, and sprinkle all over the lamb. Put the lamb in the oven.
  • After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 400°F. Try to spoon up some of the cooking liquid and pour it back on the lamb every so often. Calculate the length the lamb should stay in depending on its weight: Cook for 10 minutes per pound.
  • About 10 minutes before the beans are done cooking, take the tomatoes and the onions out of the French oven, and chop them.
  • In a nonstick skillet, melt the remaining butter on medium heat, and brown the diced shallots in it, about 2–3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and onions and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Then with a slotted spoon, add the beans into the skillet. Add 2 ladlefuls of the water the beans were cooked in. Remove bay leaf. Stir well, add a teaspoon pepper, and put on the lowest heat possible.
  • Take the lamb out of the oven and let it rest 15 minutes before serving. Serve the lamb and the white beans together.