Sheet Pan

Harissa Lamb, Beans & Garlicky Greens

March 25, 2020
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist Sophie Strangio. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

Whether by choice or not, a lot of us have beans on the brain lately. Beans and greens, beans on greens, green beans—I love them all. But sometimes I want beans that are less brothy, more meaty. And when you consider all that beans need to sing—salt and fat—a luscious cut of meat is, really, the bean’s natural partner (forgive me, greens!). Enter: lamb belly.

Lamb belly, also called lamb breast, is available at most butcher shops and counters, though may require a special ask—one that will, indubitably, impress your butcher. The high ratio of fat-to-meat makes for a super-tender, rich roast that bastes its bean friends. If you can’t find lamb belly, pork belly will sub in happily. The overnight salt-and-sugar cure—borrowed from Momofuku's Bo Ssam—makes for a properly seasoned roast that tastes only of its best, most unctuous self. And to gild the proverbial lily, harissa and sugar encourages a crisp crust, which adds charred, spicy-sweet bursts to the whole dish.

Let your pantry move you in choosing which type of beans. Small, creamy ones, like borlotti, are a natural accompaniment to the rich lamb (and crisp up well), but heftier varieties, like lima, add textural interest.

Lastly, really pile the garlicky, bracing greens high. Mustard’s bitterness acts as a perfect foil to the fatty lamb—but whatever greens you have in the fridge right now will do just fine, promise. —Coral Lee

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds lamb belly
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of beans (see Author Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon flaky salt, plus more for finishing
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mixed greens, such as baby mustard, frisée, or arugula
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for finishing
  1. Place the lamb belly on a large baking sheet. With a sharp knife, score the lamb belly in a crosshatch pattern about 1-inch wide and ½-inch deep. Combine the salt and sugar in a small mixing bowl, and use to coat the lamb all over. Leave to cure in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
  2. The following day, heat the oven to 300°F. Slide the lamb into the oven, and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until shreddy, basting each hour and pouring off the fat. (Skim reserved fat and use to roast wintry vegetables, fry eggs, etc.—don’t throw it away!). Meanwhile, combine the harissa and sugar in a small bowl.
  3. When the lamb is shreddable, brush the harissa-mixture all over the fatcap, and scatter the beans around the lamb. Using a spoon, coat the beans in the pan drippings. Return pan to oven, and broil for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the lamb is charred in places, and beans look a little frizzled.
  4. Let lamb cool slightly before removing the upper crisp crust. Shred meat finely with two forks, and use scissors or a knife to break up the crisped crust, folding it into the shredded meat and beans. Toss to coat the beans and beat in the pan drippings once again, and return to the broiler for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisped in spots.
  5. Whisk together the garlic, 1 teaspoon flaky salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Shower in the salad greens, and toss to coat. Finish with a few cracks of black pepper and additional flaky salt, if desired. Divide the lamb and beans onto plates, and top with the garlicky greens.

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1 Review

Tatjana P. April 3, 2022
Followed the instructions exactly, the lamb took closer to 3 hours to cook. The harissa mix was not nearly enough to cover the amount of lamb, I had to triple it and we could still barely taste it. The lamb and the beans were OK but they are very dry, there was not much " drippings sauce" apart from the lamb fat.
The garlic dressing did not really taste very garlicky and the amount of beans was also not enough for a group of 6 people, I had to add one more can. With the adjustments made and a suggestion by the author on how to make it slightly less dry, I would try it again.
Another plus side of the recipe: easy cleanup.