Navarin of Lamb

(Spring Lamb Stew)

Serves 6

For the lamb stock:

Photo by Kevin Miyazaki

Photo by Kevin Miyazaki

Reserved lamb bones and fat from lamb shoulder chops below

1 onion (8 ounces), cut in 8 pieces (peel left on)

2–4 carrots (12 ounces total), use half for stock, reserve the other half peeled and cut in 1-inch triangular pieces for garnish

2 turnips (12 ounces total), peeled and cut in 1-inch wedges—use ¼ for stock and reserve ¾ for garnish

6 cloves garlic (about 1 ounce), peeled

¼ cup tomato paste

6 cups unsalted chicken stock

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

Place the lamb bones and fat in a 400° preheated oven for 15 minutes, stirring once. Add the onion with peels, the ½ of carrots for stock (cut them in 1-inch lengths) and the ¼ of the turnips for stock. Continue roasting until golden, for about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, stir in, and continue baking for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Bring up to a simmer and transfer to a stock pot, being sure to get everything out of the roasting pan. Simmer stock slowly for about 1 hour, then strain and reserve (you will need 4 cups).

For the Navarin:

3 tablespoons regular olive oil

4 pounds lamb shoulder chops (1-inch thick), bones and excess fat removed and reserved; cut trimmed lamb into 1- to 1½-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup dry white wine

4 cups reserved prepared lamb stock

6 radishes, trimmed, washed and cut in quarters, to about the same size as the turnips for garnish

½ cup water plus 2–3 tablespoons, if necessary

1½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon butter

⅜  teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 asparagus spears, trimmed, blanched until tender in boiling salted water, shocked in ice water, drained, and cut in 1-inch pieces on the bias

1 cup sugar snap peas, blanched 1 minute, shocked in ice water, drained, and cut in half on the bias

1 cup shucked peas (fresh or frozen), blanched, shocked in ice water, and drained

Place a large sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil. Season the trimmed lamb pieces with salt and pepper and brown in 2 batches, about 6–7 minutes each. When they all are brown, place them back in the same pan, sprinkle flour over lamb, stir and cook about 1 minute. Add the white wine, stir with a whisk and bring up to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Add the reserved lamb stock and bring up to a simmer. Cover with a piece of oiled parchment and place in a 325° oven until the lamb is fork-tender but not falling apart, for about 50–60 minutes. While the lamb is cooking, place the radishes and reserved carrots and turnips for the garnish in a sauté pan large enough to hold them, on the stove along with the water, sugar, butter, salt, and pepper. Bring up to a boil, covered, and let cook until all of the liquid is gone, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and test the vegetables to make sure they are tender (if not, add 2–3 more tablespoons of water and cook until they are just tender). Toss the vegetables so that they will glaze in the butter and sugar that remains in the pan; cook until well-glazed. Remove from the heat and toss in the asparagus, snap peas, and peas; adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. When the lamb is done, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add the vegetable garnish just before serving.

Read more about Navarin of Lamb in There's a Lamb for Us ...