We may all be in lockdown at home, but this Easter Sunday you can still treat your family to a delicious navarin, a French stew made with seasonal veg.
Along with spring lamb, use your early spring carrots and turnips. You can harvest turnips at any size, but the small, young turnips are more tender and you can use the turnip greens which are much better when young and tender.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and add the diced lamb (1kg, boneless stewing lamb such as shoulder, seasoned with salt and pepper). Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until brown on all sides – doing this in small batches will help. Add a tablespoonful of plain flour and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring before adding a tablespoonful of tomato purée. Then gradually stir in 500ml of the stock until you have a smooth sauce. Add two cloves of crushed garlic, a bouquet garni of whatever herbs you have in the garden such as rosemary, thyme and bay, a teaspoon of sugar and up to another 500ml of stock to cover the lamb.
Bring the stew to the boil, cover and simmer for about an hour. Now add your spring root vegetables, around 9 new potatoes, 9 baby carrots and 9 baby turnips plus 8 small onions or shallots, then cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until tender.
Remove any fat from the surface, season to taste, add some cooked frozen peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with crusty bread, green salad, a scattering of parsley and a good bottle of red wine!