A classic French dish, Navarin de Mouton (nah-vah-ran d’moo-ton) is nourishing and relatively inexpensive. Great care should be taken to remove as much grease as possible from the cooking liquid. Serve this dish with a green vegetable and a full-blooded red wine such as a Nuits St. Georges.
2 oz. butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ½ lb. boned breast of mutton, trimmed of excess fat and cut into
1 lb. boned leg of mutton, cut into
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 pint brown stock bouquet garni, consisting of
4 parsley sprigs,
1 thyme spray and
1 bay leaf tied together
6 small onions, peeled
12 small potatoes, peeled
In a large saucepan, melt half of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the garlic cloves and the meat cubes, a few at a time. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cubes are evenly browned.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat cubes to a warmed plate. Keep warm while you brown the remaining cubes in the same way.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour off half of the fat. Return the meat to the pan and sprinkle over the flour, salt and pepper. Place the pan over moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato puree and the stock. Increase the heat to high and bring the stock to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the bouquet garni. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large frying-pan, melt the remaining butter with the remaining oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and potatoes. Fry, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly browned all over.
Remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a dish. Set aside.
With a large spoon, skim any grease off the surface of the cooking liquid in the saucepan. Add the onions and potatoes.
Simmer, covered, for a further 20 to 25 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.
Remove the pan from the heat. With a large spoon, skim any grease off the surface of the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Turn the stew into a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.