Navarin – French Easter Lamb Stew

Navarin is a traditional Easter dish in France and uses the newest spring vegetables. In this dish the vegetable are added later in the cooking process and they retain their crispness.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings


1.5 kg boneless lamb shoulder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar (important don’t leave this ingredient out)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 tomatoes diced, or canned
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Bouquet garni 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 5 cm lengths
3 medium turnips, peeled and cubed in 2 cm 
1 onion, peeled and cut in eighths
1 1/2 cups peas 
200 grams green beans cut into 5 cm lengths


Cut the lamb into chunks of about 4 cm.
In a large heavy based pot, heat the oil on a medium heat.
Add the  lamb and brown on all sides, turning as needed.
Remove the lamb from the pot and drain off all but one tablespoon of the cooking liquid.
Return the lamb to the pot on medium heat. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir to coat. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour and stir again.
Cook, stirring, for three minutes.
Pour on the wine and add the diced tomatoes, garlic, the bouquet garni and the nutmeg.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add water to just cover the lamb and bring to a low boil.
Cover the pot and put on low heat to simmer for one hour.
While the lamb is cooking prepare the vegetables.
Melt the butter in a large skillet on medium heat and add the carrots, turnips and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
The vegetables should be slightly tender but not brown.
Steam or microwave the green beans until just tender. Rinse with cold water and set aside to be added at the end.
After the lamb has simmered for one hour, stir in the carrots, turnips, onion and peas. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes, with the lid off if you want to reduce the cooking liquid a bit.
The vegetables should be just tender not overcooked and tired looking, so don’t leave it too long on the heat at this point.
Stir in the green beans and heat for five more minutes.
Serve with boiled new potatoes.