Episode 114: Family Favorites
Recipe: Lamb Navarin
A navarin is a classic lamb stew, and there are many variations. For a tasty peasant-like dish, I make mine the way my mother used to, with an unboned lamb breast. You can make the navarin ahead of time, up to the point of adding the peas, which should be stirred in at the last moment when the dish is reheated so they don’t lose their bright color.
2–3 lamb breasts (about 3 pounds total), most of the fat trimmed off
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
12 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 3 tablespoons)
3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
1 10-ounce package frozen baby peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cut the lamb breasts between the rib bones into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide. (You should have about 14 pieces.)
Place the lamb, preferably in one layer, in a large Dutch oven and cook, partially covered, over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes, until the meat has released most of its fat and is nicely browned on all sides. Remove the lamb to a plate and pour out and discard the fat. (There may be up to 1 cup of fat.)
Return the meat to the pot, sprinkle it with the flour, and mix well. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots, garlic, water, salt, pepper, and herb, mix well, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes. (The navarin can be prepared to this point a few hours ahead. Let cool and refrigerate, then bring to a simmer before finishing the dish.)
Add the peas and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
To serve, spoon the navarin onto six individual plates and sprinkle with the parsley.
Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.