Spring Navarin of Lamb

Serves 4

2 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 cup red wine

1 cup canned tomatoes with juice, seeded and crushed

3 cups beef or lamb stock

2 carrots peeled and roll cut

12 new baby potatoes

12 pearl onions, skinned

1/2 pound fresh green beans

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms (button and shiitake)

1 leek, cut into 1/2 inch dice

1/2 bunch chervil, for garnish

Cut lamb into 1 inch cubes and pat dry. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat saute pan to medium-high temperature; add vegetable oil and brown lamb in small batches. Set lamb aside in braising pot. Saute onions in browning pans, adding garlic when onions have softened. Add rosemary and thyme when onions have browned. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes and then add mixture to lamb.

Deglaze browning pans with red wine and reduce by 1/2. Add tomato pulp to pot. Add enough stock to bring liquid level to just below covering meat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until fork tender. Lamb can also be placed in 350 F oven for the same amount of time.

While lamb is braising, prepare vegetables. Separately, cook carrots, potatoes, onions and green beans in salted water until just done - keeping them slightly crispy. Cool them immediately in ice water. Saute mushrooms and leeks.

When lamb is ready, remove from pot and skim off excess fat. Reduce to thicken or thicken with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch slurry.

Add lamb and vegetables to pot and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.

This recipe was created by Tracey Black, chef and co-owner of Epicuria, a retail fine food store and full service caterer located at 419 Mackay Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1M 2C5. Telephone: 613-745-7356.

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