The French name for this light and earthy “Navarin” stew comes from navet, or turnip in French, and is the perfect foil for all those gorgeous spring vegetables starting to appear.
10 minutes preparation
1 hour cooking
A dash of olive oil
1kg shoulder of lamb, cut into 3cm or so chunks
3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm or so batons
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bouquet garni – bayleaf and thyme
4 good handfuls of spring green vegetables, asparagus, mange tout, fresh peas, green beans, baby new turnips, baby new potatoes…
In a heavy-bottomed casserole, heat the oil and brown the meat with the carrots and onion. Pour in enough cold water to cover the meat, stirring and scraping up the tasty goodness on the bottom of the pot.
Add the tomato paste, the bouquet garni and a little salt and pepper, bring to the boil, put the lid on and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, topping up with water if it evaporates too quickly, or until the meat is tender.
Take the pot off the heat, remove the meat and keep it warm. Reduce the stock to intensify the taste, but leave enough to ensure a nice swim for the vegetables. Then put the meat back in and adjust the seasoning. (If you are in a rush, you can skip this part.)
Steam the green vegetables separately, keeping them nice and crunchy, then add to the navarin just before serving.
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