Lamb Navarin

Lamb Navarin

Serves: to serve 4

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Ready In: 2 hrs 50 mins

2½ lb - neck or shoulder of lamb on the bone

2 tablespoons - duck fat

4 fl oz - dry white wine

1 tablespoon - coarse sea salt

6 - black peppercorns

2 - bay leaves

4 sprigs - thyme

5 stalks - parsley

1 stem - rosemary

4 - plum tomatoes

1½ pints - cold water

2 - onions

1 - large carrot

1 stick - celery

2 - parsnips

8 cloves - garlic

  1. Check that the lamb is trimmed of excess fat and cut it into 1½"-2" (4-5cm) pieces. Melt the duck fat in a large flameproof casserole and colour the pieces of lamb over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Meanwhile, in a small pan, bring the wine to the boil and allow to bubble for 30 seconds. This removes most of the alcohol and tannins, while retaining its freshness and character.
  2. Tie together the bouquet garni (bay leaves, thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs and rosemary sprig) and roughly chop the tomatoes. Season the lamb with the coarse sea salt, then add the wine, the bouquet garni, chopped tomatoes and whole peppercorns (the peppercorns are added whole at the start, as they will slowly release their aromatic flavour through the long cooking).
  3. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the cold water to cover the lamb and bring just to the boil, then skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Put the lid on, place the casserole in a preheated very low oven (Mk ½ - 200ºF - 110ºC) and cook for 1½ hours.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and cut each onion into 6 wedges, keeping the base intact. Peel and cut the carrot in half lengthways and slice into 2" (5cm) lengths. Cut the celery into similar lengths. Peel and roughly chop the parsnips. Peel the garlic.
  5. Remove the casserole after 1½ hours, add the vegetables and garlic and bring back to the boil on the hob. Replace the lid and return to the oven for a further 1 hour until the vegetables are cooked and the lamb is very tender. Taste and correct the seasoning. Serve straight from the casserole.
  6. Lamb Navarin is a very straightforward dish to prepare and provides a nourishing meal that the whole family will enjoy. In fact Lamb Navarin can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and gently reheated to serve. You can also vary the recipe using lamb shoulder steaks on the bone or lamb shanks if desired.