It’s a big one this Sunday and if you are in charge of cooking for the amazing woman* who brought you into this life, this French classic will tick all the boxes.
Navarin or ‘spring stew’ as the translation loosely goes, normally comprises of lamb or mutton and is paired with new baby vegetables, white wine and stock to create a light, fragrant broth.
Turnips should also feature, as per tradition and the only tomato element you will need to source is in tubular purée form. So this one pot wonder really shouldn’t be too stressful to put together.
Shoulder of lamb is usually favoured but we’ve used our lamb rib eyes here, a cut that is taken from the neck and which is beautifully marbled. And we’ve left the cut whole for the purposes of cooking, so that you can rest and slice and max up the presentation at the very end.
You know, for extra brownie points
*This also applies to wives, partners, friends, in memory of Mums who are no longer with us and perhaps for the sheer celebration of Spring finally arriving.
4 x 170g lamb rib eyes
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
6 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
6 tinned anchovy fillets, chopped
4 small turnips, peeled and quartered
4 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large fennel bulb, quartered and sliced (reserve the fronds)
1tbs tomato purée
250ml dry white wine
800ml chicken stock
1 tin of haricot beans
Large bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
Small bunch of wild garlic leaves (optional)
First season the lamb generously with salt and pepper and place a casserole, that comes with a lid, on the hob over a high heat. Add a splash of oil and then put the lamb rib eyes into to sear.
Once browned all over, take out and keep warm.
Next, turn the heat down a touch and add the garlic and anchovies, stir-frying for just a minute - try not to burn the garlic.
Add the turnips, carrots and fennel and stir through for about 10 minutes to soften and brown a touch. Then add the tomato puree and the white wine. Cook the wine down and then add the chicken stock and bring it up to a simmer. Place the lamb rib eye on top of the vegetables and stock, reduce the heat to a minimum and then put the casserole lid on. Gently braise for an hour and 15 minutes.
Once done, add the tinned beans to the mix and simmer for another 10 minutes. When ready, take the lamb rib eye out and leave to rest. Finish the broth by stirring through the parsley and wild garlic leaves to wilt.
To serve, spoon the broth into deep bowls, slice each portion of the lamb ribeye across the grain and place on top. Dress with a pinch of sea salt and some of those fennel fronds.