Even though my blog is mainly based on quick recipes I sometimes like to shake things up and share a recipe that can be simmering on the stove for hours. Just the aroma alone will make any person in that home happy because it screams, comfort, amazing flavor and home cooked meal. This is a wonderful recipe to prepare on the weekend when you are staying indoors, especially in the cold months. You can even prepare this in two parts; by making the meat simmer the night before and then the following day adding in the vegetables and continuing cooking, where you will have a meal in 30 minutes. While the vegetables are finishing cooking, you can make your mashed potatoes and then everything will be served at the same time, how simple and perfect is that! Either way, you will have an amazing meal!
Navarin is a French ragout or stew made with lamb and vegetables including turnips. It is derived from the French word navets meaning turnips.It is best served with some buttery mashed potatoes and a nice glass of wine. You can also pass some good crusty bread for dipping into the flavorful sauce. Can it get any better than that? I am already salivating.
Whenever you slowly simmer meat on the stove for hours, it breaks down the meat to such tenderness that no knife is required. Who doesn’t enjoy a very tender piece of meat?
Lamb stews are especially popular in Ireland. But unlike a traditional Irish lamb stew, the French Navarin has two differences. In the French version, wine is substituted for beer in the broth and the vegetables are typically “spring” vegetables. Herein lies our next lexicological perplexity. “Spring” vegetables can mean one of two things. First are vegetables whose peak season, (when they are at their ripest and freshest) is the spring, such as peas. They are so sweet and delicious, adding that sweetness (but not too much) into this dish and their vibrant green color. Second, “spring” can also refer to vegetables that mature later in the year and thus, are in their immature state in the spring. Examples include “baby” carrots or turnips, or “new” potatoes. Navarin of lamb may embrace both types of spring vegetables, as in my recipe below.
With all that said, I highly recommend you try this recipe, even on a week night, you will be highly pleased as will your family or guests. And as always, Enjoy!
Navarin of Lamb with Root Vegetables
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds boneless shoulder or leg of lamb, cut into ½ inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 1 ¼ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups beef stock
- ½ cup crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large turnip, peeled and cut into large pieces
- carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
- ½ cup peas
- ¼ pound haricots verts, stems trimmed (long thin green beans, ends trimmed if you cannot find haricots verts)
- Fresh chervil (French Parsley) or Italian flat leaf parsley if you cannot find chervil, for garnish
Season the lamb with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the lamb and brown on all sides. Add the garlic and diced onions and cook the onions until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the flour, mixing it through and cooking about 1 minute to get the raw flavor out. Add in the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add in the stock, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf, Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 1 ½ hours.
While the meat is cooking you can prepare the vegetables to have them ready. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, and add pearl onions. Boil 2 minutes, and drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and set aside. Peel the carrots; trim tops and cut diagonally into 2 inch pieces. Repeat with turnip.
Remove the meat and place in a large bowl and set aside. Taste the sauce and make any seasoning adjustments. Skim off any fat.
Strain the sauce over the meat, pressing with your spatula to get all of the sauce out and then discarding any solids and return the meat and sauce back into the pot. Make sure to run your spatula on the bottom of the strainer to get all of the delicious sauce stuck on the bottom
Add onions, turnips and carrots to casserole and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add in peas, and simmer 5 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender.
Blanch beans until bright green and still crisp, then drain. Serve stew over mashed potatoes, and scatter beans atop each serving. Garnish with the chervil or parsley, and serve.