French Fridays has decided to work in one “scary” recipe every month or so, so that the last few months of our group won’t be inundated with sardines and aspic … among them was this recipe. I’m not entirely sure why – or maybe it was our lack of energy to read what Navarin Printanier meant?
I flipped through my copy of “Around My French Table” and tabbed the recipes for April and realized that this recipe was a rather simple lamb stew that would be perfect for Easter so we decided to make this one far ahead of time and have it for our Easter meal. The spring veggies that this recipe calls for lightens the stew quite a bit and makes it taste fresh and just a little sweet – a perfect combination!
The only difficult thing about this recipe was tracking down the turnips and making sure the butcher had lamb shoulder that he could sell us since we didn’t decide to make this until the Friday before Easter. And as we all know, lamb and ham are very popular Easter meats! But as luck would have it, we were lucky enough to get a rather inexpensive bit of shoulder that he took off the bone for us. We did get a discount for that,… which was generous of him and we didn’t let the bones go to waste!
While the stew simmered, we stuck the bones into the sop and let it infuse as much lamb flavor, extracting every bit of lamb-y goodness out of those bones and making every penny count!
At first glance, this recipe seems like it will take quite a bit of time, requiring a long, slow simmer and a bit of a long, slow bake in the oven but if you make it just after lunch, it will be ready in plenty of time for dinner.
We had so much time between the simmering and the baking phases of this stew that we made a batch of onion-less St Germain-des-Pres biscuits, a French Fridays recipe that we neglected to post while we were on our vacation to the States. Last fall, we made the biscuits to accompany our sausage gravy and biscuits when our friends from Italy were visiting and having bits of sauteed onion in them for that dish was perfect!
This time, since we were making a stew with young Spring veggies and lamb, I decided to take the time to punch out the biscuits in flowery shapes and I even made mini biscuit flowers for Mei – the perfect serving size for her dinner! I even brushed the tops with melted butter for a bit more buttery, flaky goodness. Needless to say, these biscuits only made it until the end of lunch the next day when we polished off what was left of the stew.
It was the PERFECT stew for this time of year, and one that I will make over this coming Winter when we are missing the warmer, sunnier days!
To see how the other Doristas fared, click here. If you would like the recipe or to join in the fun, pick up a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table,” head to the kitchen and get to cookin’!