This is the perfect summer stew which really highlights the baby vegetables which are just starting to become available. It is also a great way to use an undervalued cut of meat.
Jean-Christophe Novelli’s Navarin of lamb with sweet potatoes
For the navarin:
1kg lamb neck fillet, cut into chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, quartered
2 shallots, quartered lengthways
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cayenne pepper
500ml hot vegetable stock
70g tomato purée
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 bulb garlic, halved width ways, unpeeled
50g plain flour
10 baby new potatoes
½ celeriac, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 large carrots, washed, halved lengthways, unpeeled
2 tsp brown sugar
½ x 25g pack parsley, chopped
For the sweet potatoes:
1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1 cm rounds
150g pine kernels
4 tsp cold pressed rapeseed oil
1 tsp fresh ginger
½ vanilla pod (halved lengthways)
3 sage leaves
1 tsp thyme (leaves only)
½ bulb garlic
1 tsp clear honey
½ tsp cocoa powder
For the navarin of lamb:
1. Heat a large sauté pan with a lid. Add the meat with no oil, browning on all sides whilst covered with the lid. Remove the meat and pour off the fat.
2. Using the same pan on a high heat, sauté the onions and shallots until soft. Add the bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, coriander seeds, cayenne pepper and stock.
3. Mix completely then stir in the tomato puree chopped tomatoes and garlic bulb. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. After 10 minutes, blend in the flour, add the potatoes, celeriac, carrots and sugar.
5. Return the meat to the pan. Bring back to the boil and then simmer, covered, for one hour or until the meat and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
6. To serve, check the seasoning and serve with chopped parsley sprinkled over the dish.
For the potatoes:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
2. Scatter the pine kernels on the baking tray and bake for 5 minutes.
3. In a large sauté pan, gently warm the oil and add the grated ginger. Stir, then add the vanilla pod, sage, thyme, garlic and honey.
4. Stir very quickly then add the cocoa powder whilst stirring. Mix in the sweet potatoes and roasted pine kernels. Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C, gas mark 4 for a further 5 minutes, or longer if required.
5. Check that the sweet potatoes are cooked, and serve.
Make it vegetarian by replacing the lamb with chunks of aubergine and chick peas.
Recipes from Simply Novelli by Jean-Christophe Novelli published by Relish Publications