Lamb Navarin

Lamb Navarin

From Philippe Mouchel

A beautiful winter stew from Normandy combining lamb, turnips (navets), carrots and potatoes. Philippe uses lamb shoulder and ribs cut into large pieces, but the dish also works well with lamb necks. He likes to serve it with celeriac purée and believes cooking the celeriac in milk helps to retain its lovely pale colour.

Serves 8–10

100 ml vegetable oil
150 g unsalted butter
1 kg boned lamb shoulder, cut into 5 cm cubes
1 kg fore-quarter lamb racks, cut between every second rib
200 g onions, diced
200 g carrots, diced
1 tablespoon plain flour
250 ml dry white wine
4 tomatoes, diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
1 rosemary sprig
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
chicken stock or water
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
250 g small pickling onions or French shallots,
trimmed and peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
1 kg kipfler potatoes
300 g baby carrots with some green stem
remaining if desired, peeled
300 g baby turnips with some green stem
remaining if desired, peeled
½ cup peas
Celeriac purée
1 kg celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
500 ml milk
sea salt
200 g unsalted butter, diced
freshly ground black pepper
grated truffle (optional)

 Heat the oil with a large knob of the butter in a heavy-based pot. Add the lamb pieces and cook until browned all over. Remove the lamb to a plate.

 Add the diced onion and carrot and a little more butter to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring well. Drain off the excess fat if there now seems to be too much, then stir in the flour and cook for another minute or so. Return the lamb to the pot and pour in the wine. Simmer until slightly reduced, then add the tomato, diced turnip, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and garlic, and enough chicken stock or water to come up to the level of the lamb. Season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour.

 Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter in a small saucepan and add the pickling onions or shallots, the sugar and some salt. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, then add a little chicken stock or water and bring to the boil. Cook over low heat until soft.

 Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain.

 Ladle the lamb from the pot, then strain the sauce through a fi ne sieve. Return the sauce to the pot along with the pieces of lamb and the whole potatoes. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

 To make the celeriac purée, put the celeriac in a saucepan with the milk, some salt and enough water to just cover. Boil until soft, then drain. Return to  the pan and mash, adding the butter piece by piece. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir through some grated truffl e if desired. Keep warm.

 After the potatoes have been simmering with the lamb for 15 minutes, add the pickling onions or shallots, and the baby carrots and turnips and continue to simmer until tender. Add the peas for the last 10 minutes.

 Serve the lamb, vegetables and sauce with the celeriac purée.

Extract from the book French Food Safari  Originally Published in FrenchEntrée Magazine

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