We invited six friends to dinner last week and decided to prepare a one-dish meal, Navarin of Lamb. This a classic French country dish and easy to make. with a delicious combination of lamb and vegetables marinated in red wine. It was a fun evening. We met years ago, when our children were in the same grades at the Lycee’ Francais Charles de Gaulle. Most of our children are now in college, but we parents remain lifelong friends. You have have experienced the same, the parents you meet when your children are in lower schools become the ones you know and share storied with forever.
This recipe is an adaptation of the wonderful Navarin recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’ve added more carrots, potatoes, french beans, peas and used fresh tomatoes instead of paste. Couldn’t find baby onions, so skipped them. The nice thing about this dish is that it’s flexible depending on what you have in the frig. I love the wine sauce and cognac which tenderize the lamb and hope you enjoy it !
Navarin of Lamb
3 pounds cubed lamb, preferably from the shoulder
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
18 medium pearl onions
1/2 C Cognac
1/4 C Sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp Potato or Corn Starch
2 tbsp red currant jelly or leftover canberry sauce or red jam
6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Cups beef stock
1 C dry red wine
7 small/medium carrots thinly sliced
18 baby potatoes
2 medium onions
9 oz young French beans
6 oz peas
Optional: 8 oz baby turnips, trimmed with a short stalk, 150 grams shelled new broad beans
5 cloves garlic, pelled and crushed
1/4 C parsley (save a bit to put on top)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp frsh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
Please note that the main vegetables you need are the carrots and onions. The rest is to your taste …. or what you have in the refrigerator!
- Heat olive oil and butter, brown lamb over medium heat. Transfer to stew pot or casserole
- Pearl onions: Boil water, cut an X in the root of each pearl onion and drop in. Cook about ten minutes. Drain, cover with cold water and reserve.
- Boil 2 quarts salted water. Drop in snow peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain and immerse in cold water. Reserve.
- Skillet above: drain and return lamb pieces to skillet.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
- Heat the Cognac in a small pan; light and let flame for 30 seconds. Turn lamb on low and add cognac.
- Turn off heat and return lamb to casserole
- Add vinegar, potato starch, jelly, tomatoes, beef stock and red wine to skillet and stir wall. Five minutes over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Add onion, carrots, garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaf. Pour sauce over all, stir well and cover.
- Cook potatoes, optional turnips in salted water for 3 minutes and add to casserole for the last 25 minutes of cooking time.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours, uncovering the casserole for the last 15 minutes and adding potatoes etc for last 25 minutes. We wanted a little more sauce so added another 3/4 C of red wine halfway through.
- When finished, add snow peas and pearl onions. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Serve with rice or quinoa.