It's officially Spring! Though you wouldn't know it from the freezing temps we're having this week.
Spring is an excuse to cook one of my favorite meat; lamb. So here comes one of my favorite gastronomic delights - a very special French classic, Lamb Navarin D'Agneau Printanier which is Lamb Navarin with Spring Vegetables.
I first worked on this dish years ago when Chef Robin asked me to do do a guest post on her website . She wears many hats as a Restaurateur, Consultant, Wine Pairing expert & Teacher of the Culinary Arts. I first became acquainted with her when I read her marvelous article on Finishing Salts. I have never delved into these and if it were not for her & Chef Thomas Keller at the French Laundry, I would never have discovered their culinary magic.
I have often said that I lack the gene that allows me to follow a recipe to the 'T'. In fact I wouldn't begin to know how to do that. I think it has something to do with the fact that especially when it comes to French cooking, I approach it with the same mindset I approached my thesis as a graduate student. I research, deconstruct the recipe, look for similarities and differences, and then reconstruct the recipe in my own light.
Two culinary giants & a humble me are in the kitchen for this rendition of Navarin D'Agneau Printanier. My favorite person when it comes to French cooking, Richard Grausman's recipe from his book At Home with the French Classics, Le Cordon Bleu's recipe for this & moi, calling out to the culinary Gods to smile on me as we journey into the world of Navarin D'Agneau Printanier.
Lamb Navarin is a stew with lamb, turnips, carrots & potatoes. What takes it from Lamb Navarin to Lamb Navarin Printanier is the addition of spring vegetables namely pre-cooked French beans (very thin green beans) and shelled green peas.
Please do not omit the turnips because it would no longer be Navarin.
In fact take it from someone who has suffered from turnip nightmares growing up. If only my mother had cooked it this way, I'd have eaten the entire field of turnips without any fuss!