Navarin d'Agneau

You know you live in a rural setting when wellies are lined up haphazardly near the front door, clods of dried dirt, which slide off the drying wellies, greet you as you arrive home nine hours later. Get the broom......
This morning, walking the shibas in 34 degrees (1 Celsius), I brilliantly chose to slip on said wellies (without socks)so I wouldn't get my sneakers wet. Cold rubber in 34 degrees against bare feet will transform your feet into blocks of ice after a 20 minute walk. Brilliant.

The leftover lamb stew has now become one of our favorite meals. We don't want to overdo it though. Even though we have champagne taste but a beer budget, this one is quite manageable.

Now, living where we do it is entirely possible for us to keep sheep, lambs and know exactly where our meats were coming form. No guessing at the market....alas....I would name every. bloody. one. of these creatures. I know it. It's good to recognize your own limitations and goodness knows, I would tear up knowing little Jenny or Bailey was on the plate.

That being said, here is a wonderful recipe entitled Navarin d'Agneau (French Lamb Stew) from the old cookbook At Home with the French Classics by Richard Grausman. I used this beautiful dutch oven to cook the stew.

4 TB vegetable oil
2 1/1 pounds lamb shoulder, cut in roughly 1 and half inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef stock
1 cup white wine
1 TB tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used double this amount)
Bouquet Garni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 large carrots, cut in 1 inch pieces
18 pearl onions, peeled, root end trimmed
3 small white turnips, peeled and quartered
12 - 18 small new potatoes, peeled

1) In large pot or dutch oven, heat 3 TB oil and add lamb, browning on all sides.

2) Sprinkle flour over meat and brown for 3 to 5 minutes.

3) Add stock, wine, tomato paste, garlic and bouquet garni.

4) Meanwhile, in a skillet heat the remaining 1 TB oil. Add carrots and brown, shaking the skillet frequently. Remove carrots and set aside. Add onions and turnips to skillet now.

5) After lamb has simmered 30 minutes, add browned carrots. After 15 more minutes add onions and turnips. Check meat and vegetables fro tenderness. Cooking time will be roughly 1 and half hours.

6) Boil or steam potatoes until they are tender. Add to stew and cook another five minutes.

This was served with a crusty loaf of French bread and one of our favorite and inexpensive wines - Le Vieille Ferme. Next time we want to add double the carrots and maybe a few more turnips. It was perfect for a cold evening.

Oh, and The Mom Song was deleted from my site because the link is now broken. So, it can be found on YouTube but the quality wasn't great so I didn't add it again.


A World in a PAN said...

I love lamb and your navarin looks delicious!

Pierce said...

It was my first time making this receipe and, oh's a favorite now! Thanks for visiting.


Le laquet said...

Navarin of lamb - yum! In le Creuset - beautiful ... I didn't think it got that cold where you live - brrrr!

Joie de vivre said...

How beautiful! The way you set your table too looks so French rustic. I must try it. I'll let you know when I do.

As for your question about bread flour versus all purpose flour...I am not an expert, so I'm not positive but I'll give it a go. Bread flour has a higher gluten content than all purpose flour. Gluten is what provides the structure (crumb) of the bread. However, I think gluten formation is what happens when you are kneading the bread and letting it rise so even though all purpose flour has less, I don't see why it wouldn't work. You may just need to knead it longer and let it rise longer? Go ahead and try it! A good challah would go wonderfully with leftover lamb navarin!

Alastair Cunningham said...

Tina, thanks for the link - I see a few people have clicked across to Scotland! YOu are a much more diligent blogger than me. Looking forward to trying the navarin!

Pierce said...

Alastair - I hope you like the lamb - it was quite tasty. We have more fat lamb steaks and am tempted to make that stew again but I think the lord of the manor plans to grill them up.


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