As is always the case with traditional recipes, lamb navarin varies from family to family. While the recipe below certainly does the trick, Raymond Blanc's version is well worth trying if you have a day set aside for cooking. The Good Friday of a bank holiday weekend, for example...
4kg lamb (shoulder, neck and breast)
2 tbsps flour
750ml lamb or beef stock
4 chopped tomatoes
5 carrots, chopped into inch-long sections
5 turnips, cut into 1-inch cubes
12 spring onions, chopped into inch-long sections
5oog green peas or snow peas
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp thyme
flour (for dusting)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1. Cut the lamb into 2-inch cubes then roll on a flour-dusted plate.
2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil on a medium heat and brown the lamb in batches before returning to the pan en masse. Turn the heat up to high, add the garlic cloves and cook the crushed garlic for one minute.
3. Drain half the fat from the pan and set it to one side.
4. Warm the stock in a small saucepan, then pour it over the lamb. Return the larger pan to the heat and bring the stock to the boil. Stir in the tomatoes and herbs and return to the boil. Once boiled, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Add the chopped root vegetables and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
6. Cook the peas in salted water for five minutes. Five minutes before serving, add them to the lamb, remembering at the same time to remove the bay leaf.