Navarin of Lamb with Spring Vegetables

Note: This is the best "lamb stew" we've ever had.  A beautiful spring dish.

Servings: 6

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoons Butter
4 1/2 Pounds Boneless Leg of Lamb, fat trimmed, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 Cup Cognac
2 Tablespoons Potato Starch
14 1/2 Fluid Ounces Beef Broth

1/4 Cup Sherry Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Red Currant Jelly
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 Cups Red Wine
1 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
8 Small Carrots, sliced in 1" lengths on oblique
10 Cloves Garlic, large, peeled, and crushed
10 Inch Fresh Rosemary, leaves stripped from branch
8 Inch Fresh Thyme, leaves stripped from branches
1 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoons Black Pepper
1 Teaspoons White Pepper
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
24 Medium-sized Pearl Onions, trimmed and peeled
3/4 Pound Snow Peas, trimmed


  • In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil and butter.  Over medium heat, brown lamb, a few pieces at a time.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to a deep ovenproof casserole.
  • When all lamb is browned, turn off heat under skillet.  Drain oil and return all the lamb to skillet.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat cognac in a small saucepan.  Set skillet with lamb over low heat and pour in cognac.  Ignite cognac with a match and let it flame for 30 seconds.  
  • Turn off heat.  With a slotted spoon return meat to the casserole.
  • Mix potato starch with 1/2 cup beef broth, before adding to the skillet.
  • Add potato starch mixture, vinegar, currant jelly, tomato paste, rest of beef broth, and red wine to the skillet to make a sauce and stir well.  
  • Set over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
  • Add sliced onion, carrots, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, peppers, and lime leaves to the casserole.  
  • Pour sauce over  all, stir well and cover.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours, uncovering casserole for last 15 minutes.
  • Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil.  
  • Cook the pearl onions  in the water in a sieve (for easy removal without dumping the water) for ~10 minutes.  Drain, transfer to a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes.  
  • Drain and reserve.
  • Drop snow peas in water and cook for 1 minute.  
  • Drain and plunge into ice water.  Let stand 'til cool, drain, pat dry, and reserve.
  • Toss stew with snow peas and pearl onions and serve immediately
Per Serving: 1025 Calories; 56g Fat (53.5% calories from fat); 58g Protein; 51g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 191mg Cholesterol; 1847mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 7 Lean Meat; 7 1/2 Vegetable; 6 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
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