Pinto beans, Great Northerns, or pea beans can be used. Pick over the beans, and soak them in water to cover by 2 inches overnight, changing water at least one time. Drain. In a kettle, combine the beans with water to cover by 1-inch and add one of the onions, stuck with the cloves, the bay leaf, 8 garlic cloves, and salt. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes, and then simmer it, covered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. Stud lamb shanks with slivers of garlic and rub them down with crumbled dried rosemary and salt to taste. In a heavy skillet, heat 3 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp oil over mod-high heat. Brown the lamb shanks and season them with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, broth, wine, and bring liquid to a boil. Simmer the shanks, covered, for 60 minutes. In another skillet, cook the remaining 2 onions, sliced thin, in the remaining 3 Tbsp oil, until they are lightly browned. Cook them, covered, until they are softened and season them with salt and pepper. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Put half the beans in an 8-qt. casserole, top them with the onions and the remaining 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine. Transfer the shanks to the casserole and top them with the remaining beans. Pour the lamb braising liquid over all and add enough of the bean cooking liquid to just cover. Top the casserole with the bacon strips. Cook it, uncovered, in the middle of a preheated 350f oven for 60 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the mixture with bread crumbs. Dot with the remaining butter, cut into bits. Bake the mixture, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden.
A 1970 Gourmet Mag. favorite.