Inspired by Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the creator of this hearty lamb and vegetable stew says this was the first really good stew she ever made, and to this day it remains one of the best stews in her repertoire. Like most stews, it’s a time consuming effort but the flavorful result is well worth it for a main course meal.
- 3 pounds boneless lamb from leg or shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes, fat removed
- 3 tablespoons flour, preferably Wondra
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 3 cups hot water
- 1 cup drained & chopped canned tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 small new potatoes, peeled & quartered
- 6 carrots, peeled & cut into 1-inch lengths
- 3 parsnips, peeled, cut in half lengthwise & cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen small white onions, thawed
- 1½ cups fresh shelled peas or 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1½ cups fresh peeled asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Dry the lamb with paper towels. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle the lamb pieces with the flour mixture. Place the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over med.-high heat and when the butter has melted, add the lamb cubes in batches so that they do not crowd each other.
- Brown on one or two sides and remove to a large Dutch oven with a lid.
- Add the remaining olive oil, the onions, and garlic to the skillet and saute over med.-high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. When the onions have wilted, about 10 minutes, add the bouillon to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Transfer the contents of the skillet to the Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. There should be enough liquid to almost cover the meat. If necessary, add a little more water, or a splash of red or white wine. Return to a simmer, cover the Dutch oven, and place it in the oven. Check the stew in 15 minutes and reduce the heat if necessary, so that the stew simmers gently for another 45 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and small onions. Stir well, bring to a simmer on top of the stove, and return to the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the peas and asparagus and return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes, until the green vegetables are tender. Remove from oven and serve. Makes 6 servings.
Source: Simple One-Pot Stews by Maria Robbins