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Lamb Navarin Printanier – FFWD

This recipe wraps up  the April collection of French Fridays With Dorie’s recipes that some loved and some tolerated.   That’s ok, everyone has something they’re not crazy about.   Lamb Navarin Printanier is a lovely aromatic stew that is nice on a cool spring day, or a crisp autumn supper.  If you like Boeuf Bourguignon, this is for you.   But you’ll have to have your wine on the side with this one.

Earlier in the week, I called the local butcher and asked about the availability of lamb shoulder.  No dice.  He did have a leg of lamb that could be boned out, and cubed.   We talked about the amount, and I picked it up today.   My idea of trimmed and the butcher’s idea of trimmed were very different.  I like the meat very “clean”.  None of the silver skin stuff, very little fat, no icky stuff.   So I re-trimmed the meat, and ended up with quite a bit less than I had expected, but I’m sure that each bite will be good.    Here’s another interesting tidbit.  In an article I found about lamb stews, the leg is not suggested because when it’s braised, it can become stringy.  Yikes!   It was too late for re-do’s, so I’ll have to see what happens after the stew is finished.  I decided to make up for less meat with more vegetables.   I added two or three more carrots, one more turnip, and doubled the onions & potatoes.  That’s just fine with me.   Most days I’d rather eat vegetables than meat anyway.  Here’s the meat pre-trimming.

The recipe starts off with searing the meat.  Hmmm, I guess I forgot what lamb smells like.  Not bad, just not beef.   I didn’t have to do a lot of rearranging or batches.  The meat had a nice even sear, and made lots of nice crispy fond in the bottom of the cast enamel pot.

The meat was combined with the stock, herbs and tomato paste and set to simmer.   I have a very cool item to tell all of you about.  This isn’t an advertisement, and I’m not a spokesmodel, but I found something really cool, created by Michael Ruhlman.  If you make your own stock (which I usually try do, but didn’t this time), and use cheesecloth to stain, here’s just the ticket.  He has three reusable cloth squares that can be used to strain yogurt, stock or anything else that may need straining.  If you don’t know about Michael, he’s a great writer, and has several books.  The one I recommend most is Making of a Chef.  He writes about his education at the Culinary Institute of America through of the eyes of a journalist.  A great easy read.

My favorite part of the recipe was caramelizing the vegetables.  It took about 10 minutes, and they were glistening, golden and not soft as Dorie instructs in the recipe.  Here’s a before and after photo of the vegetables.

We found some delicious fresh English peas in the store!  Just perfect for finishing touch.  I’m not going to serve the Navarin until tomorrow, so the peas will go in after I reheat tomorrow.  It’s been awhile, but I’m going to bring it back to temp ala Sous Vide.  Using that technique, the meat won’t overcook and or get rubbery like it might if I used a microwave.

The finished stew is delicious.  The  lamb tasted perfectly tender.  No stringy meat.  So go ahead, go crazy and use leg of lamb if you want to!

Happy Spring!   If you’re looking for other great spring dishes, you might want to take a look at these for inspiration.

Warm Weather Pot au Feu

Bacon, Eggs and Asparagus Salad

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Posted on: 28 Comments

28 Responses

  1. crumblyplum says:

    Your stew looks so rich and flavourful. I’m so glad to hear you used leg of lamb and that t turned out well…I’m only making mine this afternoon and I just bought leg of lamb, which was all I could find.

  2. heidi1169 says:

    beautiful post, so inspiring and you took the plunge and actually use lamb!

  3. Your stew looks so delicious! I’m definitely in support of doubling the veggies – I threw in a few extra too. The meat market left a little more fat on my beef than I would have liked too but oh well, we work with what we’ve got right?

  4. Elin says:

    Your stew looks delicious…I used leg of lamb and it was delicious too. Glad that I did not give this a miss :)
    Have a lovely weekend!

  5. This looks so delicious! What do you think of accidentally dropping some zinfandel into the mix?

  6. Kathy says:

    Such a beautifully delicious looking stew! Nicely done!

  7. I have to admit, I was worried about the smell of lamb cooking, and that was a part of my decision to use beef. Looks lovely and tasty.

    • I know! What is it about the smell? It went away pretty quickly. It’s just not a smell I’m used too. I’m not a huge fan of the “fajita” smell in restaurants either. Give me pastry smells any day!

  8. Ei says:

    Looks great! Lamb is my favorite of all the meats. Mmmm. I think it smells grand. Double mmmmm. Glad you enjoyed it!

  9. nana says:

    Even though I did not use lamb, which I will eventually, I thought this was one great stew. I
    do think doing the vegetables as Dorie suggests with a bit of sugar made a hugh change
    in the flavor of the stew. Your photos look fantastic, and the end result looks fantastic.

  10. pamkaren says:

    I used leg of lamb too and it was nice and tender. And adding extra veggies was a great idea. It was a lot of meat. I added some mushrooms as well, but could have added more of the recipe veggies like you did!

  11. Mary Hirsch says:

    I love Michael Ruhlman also. Have read all his stuff. I currently have “Ruhlman’s Twenty” on my nightstand and I think you got that “stock” tip from that book. I can’t wait to try it. Next up is “Ratio” which I just purchased. It would be hard for me to cut up a Leg of Lamb. That’s painful. I used a shoulder and did all the slicing and dicing myself. Took off lots of fatty pieces and yukky other stuff. Nice Post.

  12. betsy says:

    I loved the caramelized vegetables too. Though I didn’t think these veggies were particularly springlike, I thought this was an excellent stew.

  13. I used leg of lamb and thought it was delicious also!

  14. Trae C says:

    Great post! Thanks for all the tips, especially the reusable straining cloth.

  15. sanyaliving says:

    I used leg of lamb as well and I found it incredibly tender and melt in your mouth!
    Loved your post! Great, useful info!

  16. I love lamb, but I just couldn’t justify the price difference. Maybe I’ll try again when the lamb is on sale.

  17. Cher says:

    Very lovely – I stayed away from the lamb & used beef, but it looks like this recipe was a great use for lamb.
    I have to agree about Michael Ruhlman – I have R 20 & Ratio & The Elements of Cooking and am currently reading my way through Charcuterie (stuffing sausage is one of my next projects…)

  18. Alice says:

    your stew looks fantastic! :) Great advice on Michael Ruhlman, I have some of his books on my amazon wishlist :)

  19. I also love very clean beef when cooking. Your dishes look delicious!

  20. gail says:

    Anyone looking for locally grown lamb, come to the Lodi Valley Farmers’ Market on Friday afternoons. Carol Pine from Rio sells lamb she raises herself. DELICIOUS!!!

  21. Cat says:

    Hi, I would love to make this dish, but I can’t see where to find the recipe.

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