Today´s choice for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Navarin Printanier or Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables. The title of this recipe already sounds delicious. It seems like the perfect dish to prepare on a windy and rainy Spring day like today.
It turned out that the most difficult part of this recipe was getting fresh, good quality boneless lamb shoulder. I was glad that I had gone over the ingredient list a few days ago. There are no local traditional lamb dishes around here and not many peolpe eat lamb on a regular basis. So I had to order the meat a few days in advance, decided to double the recipe and ended up getting 6 pounds (about three kilos) of lamb shoulder.
My butcher (the same one who usually orders the lamb chops for me) gave me a strange look but I figured that since the kids already love different kinds of stew that I often prepare, such as "Gulasch with Spätzle" and "Gaisburger Marsch" - prepared with potatoes and Spätzle - and since they enjoy lamb chops, they would eat this French lamb stew as well.
The Navarin is a traditional French stew and there are hundreds of variations of this recipe.
Dorie Greenspan' s recipe calls for a number of vegetables. You will need garlic, small white onions (one more challenging ingredient, I finally found them at a small greengrocer), carrots, turnips, small potatoes (bought the "new potatoes") and peas ( no chance of getting fresh peas at this time of year, so frozen peas will have to do - according to Dorie "almost everyone" uses them).
In addition to the vegetables, you will need a few fresh herbs. Dorie lists parsley, thyme and a bay leaf. Love these herbs...
After I brought all the required ingredients home, I started out by cutting the lamb shoulder into cubes and trimming off the excess fat. The rest of this one-pot meal was easy to prepare since the instructions in Dorie´s recipe are quite straightforward.
Nothing seems to spell comfort better than a pot of stew simmering on the stove. When my husband and the kids came home, it certainly was nice to hear them say that although they did not know what I was preparing, it "smelled great".
As suggested by Dorie, I served the stew in individual shallow soup dishes and I sprinkled a bit of chopped parsley on top. We had a big loaf of crusty French bread and lightly salted French butter on the side. The meat was tender, the vegetables rounded out the meal beautifully and everyone around the table ate and liked the Navarin Printanier!
Voilà! Great success!
I am glad that my family likes eating lamb because I do too and it is nice to know that they all will venture past marinated lamb chops mediterranean style!
(When we were in Rouen, Normandy, we found this wonderful indoor market with vendors selling vegetables, fruits, cheeses, cured meats, eggs, and much more - wish I was there right now...)
To see how the other Doristas prepared the Navarin Printanier this week, please click here.