The “Navarin printanier d’agneau” – a kind of lamb stew – is a traditional spring recipe that mixes lamb meat of the year and the early vegetables.

According to the legend, this recipe was invented by the chef that was cooking for the French Armada the day of the victory of France, United Kingdom and Russia in the battle for the Greek independence that took place in Navarin in 1827 against the Ottoman Empire.
The following recipe is for 6 guests and is one of the dishes that are usually cooked for the family meal of Easter.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of lamb shoulder
  • 6 thin slices of lamb neck for the taste
  • 4 tomatoes – peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 onions – diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 50 g of concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 18 medium potatoes
  • 12 little carrots
  • 12 little turnips
  • 400 g of peas – shelled
  • Olive oil

Direction:

  1. Put the lamb meat in a pot with olive oil and let it brown.
  2. Add the onions, the crushed garlic cloves, the bouquet garni and the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, cover the pot and leave everything to cook on low heat for 10 min.
  3. Add the tomato paste and the sugar (you may also add a little vinegar if you wish) and cover with water. Let it boil and season the mixture again.
  4. Cook in the oven at 350°F (180°C or th6) for 1 hour.
  5. Peel the potatoes, the carrots, the peas and the turnips and place them in a pot with cold water. Bring to a boil. After 5 minutes drain the vegetables and make sure you add them to the lamb stew 20 minutes before the dish is completely cooked.
  6. Once you have taken the lamb stew out of the oven, pour off any excess fat and remove the lamb meat, the potatoes and the bouquet garni.
  7. Mix the sauce and pass it through a strainer. Put everything back in the dish except the bouquet garni and bring to a boil.

The dish is to be served hot in a large bowl. Place the lamb meat in the center and surround it with the vegetables. If you do not wish to use freshly grown vegetables, you may also change the recipe by adding any kind of vegetables or simply potatoes.

Wine suggestions:

Lamb meat should generally be accompanied by red wines like Corton, Bandol, Châteauneuf du Pape or Anjou-villages Brissac.