ffwD: Navarin Printanier

Ah, another ffwD assignment in which I had to consult the trusty Fox & Obel butcher for advice. My intention was to follow Dorie’s suggestion and purchase lamb shoulder; however, when I looked at the Fox & Obel meat case, the only lamb shoulder available were pre-sliced individual steaks. I told the butcher that I was making a lamb stew, and he recommended using rack of lamb. No problem, except that it was $9.99 a pound! My first thought was “This had better be the best lamb stew ever!” But, I held my tongue and remembered that I spent $30.70 on less than a pound of prime beef filet mignon, so I had no room to complain. To assuage my irritation, I only purchased two pounds of rack of lamb for me and my friend (Codename: Candelabra) who was visiting that weekend.

This stew wasn’t that bad. I served it over white sticky rice, and it tasted pretty good. The smell, although subtle, was the only minor detraction and was more obvious when the leftovers were re-heated.

My only other hiccup occurred when I was about to photograph the bowlful of stew. I noticed the fluidity of the color red in the dish and realized I’d forgotten to add the frozen peas! Good thing I remembered because the bowlful looked much more appetizing with the pops of green color. Now I just hope no one confuses my stew for the store-bought, in-a-can version.

To see how others fared with navarin printanier, check out French Fridays with Dorie where we make recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

76 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Food,Photography & France
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 03:07:04

    That’s unusual advice from a butcher, although French and American butchery is very different. Rack of lamb, in France, should be cooked quickly for little lamb chops that are still pink inside whereas shoulder is cooked slowly, for a long time, to produce “fall apart” flavoursome meat.

  2. Maureen (@OrgasmicChef)
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 03:25:46

    I think your lamb dish looks devine!! You’re right, the peas make a difference.

  3. Choc Chip Uru
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 04:00:18

    I love the colours of this dish – they look simply beatiful 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. TrafficDiva
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 05:27:16

    So, I have to ask…what was it about the subtle smell that you disliked?? Because right now with a freeze warning in effect in my area, a couple of bowlfuls of this with crusty buttered bread sure sounds like heaven to me!

  5. mary
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 05:48:06

    It does look delicious! I have never heard to using rack of lamb for stew either!! but I bet it was fantastic –
    Mary x

  6. Lisa {smart food and fit} (@LisaNutrition)
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 06:09:28

    Great looking stew! It’s perfect for dinner this weekend with the cold front that is coming….possibly snow in the forecast for us in MI! Yikes.
    Though I’m not a big fan of lamb and will stick to beef, but looks fantastic!

  7. Inger Wilkerson
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 06:29:49

    I have seen rack of lamb higher than 9.99/lb, so it could have been worse! Our family likes lamb and I have one on order from a local farmer for this fall. My stew recipe has fewer veggies, so I’ll have to try this when we get it (with a cheaper cut however 😉 )

  8. Elaine
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 06:59:36

    Your stew looks so good. It took me awhile to find some lamb stew meat because all I could find was leg of lamb and lamb shanks. I am glad the weather cooled down this week for this one.

  9. Cher
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 07:09:59

    The lamb was ridiculously priced – which I wouldn’t have minded if anyone in my house liked lamb, but there was no way I was spending 30-40$ on a cut of meat that noone would eat. I am surprised that they recommended a rack as a substitute.
    Glad you were able to work through it. The peas definitely helped with the color!

  10. andi
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 07:15:13

    I’ve only had lamb once and it was long ago, I can’t remember the taste. Your dish looks tasty hope you enjoyed andi

  11. JasmyneTea
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 07:51:41

    You’re right, the peas make the dish really pop. It’s unusual to use lamb rack in a stew though :s maybe the butcher just wanted to sell it, lol.

  12. alwaysaddmorebutter
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 07:56:32

    I was going to buy a beef shoulder to substitute because the lamb here was just too spendy but the butcher recommended a different cut for me too & mine worked out as well. Your stew looks great and serving it over rice sounds really good – maybe I will do that with the leftovers!

  13. Mary Hirsch
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 08:02:14

    Two things were in my favor this week. I already had a lamb in my freezer and I like lamb……… alot. So I enjoyed this week’s dish. Yes, my food bill is getting larger as I buy more organic products and larger cuts of meat, nice pieces of fish, blah, blah, blah. I’m surprised the butcher recommended the rack of lamb. Oh, well. You dish looked good and I hoped you and your guest did find it flavorful.

  14. Ei
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 08:12:23

    Fortunately, my supermarket sells one-pound cartons of pre-cubed lamb “stew meat”, so I just bought that. One pound is plenty for the two of us, with leftovers. I think this would be good over rice.

  15. Ryan
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 08:21:10

    That is so nice that you have a butcher nearby– I so wish we had one close when I get stumped on cuts of meat, etc. and have questions. There are some here but it’s a drive. Your stew looks delicious and perfect for the cooler weather we’re having right now! Great job!

  16. Bam's Kitchen
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 09:19:07

    I know that lamb sometimes does have that unusual smell when cooking. However I think it would be drowned out with all of those lovely spices and flavors.

  17. Elin
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 09:33:16

    Wow…yours looks delicious…love the green and red contrast…beautiful!! You have done a great job on it 🙂

  18. Louise
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 09:54:22

    What a lovely stew, Yummy. I’m sure no one would ever mistaken it for the “canned” variety by any means. I too am surprised by the choice of lamb from the butcher however, the price you paid is a heck of a lot less than it is here. My butcher is selling rack of lamb for $12.99 a pound! I do love it though. The one drawback I suppose is like you mentioned, the aroma of lamb can sometimes be unappealing and, it is most unappealing cold!

    Thanks for sharing, I sure could use a bowl about now. It’s a cold, rainy, blustery day in central PA today!

  19. Trevor Sis Boom
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 09:55:03

    The peas make it! Glad you remembered those! I adore lamb and its smell but not everyone here does so I’m waiting a few days to make this one as I will be a solo camper for a few days.

  20. Christy Majors
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 10:28:12

    I’m still trying get up the inspiration to make this one. I don’t like lamb and you just confirmed that if I was going to spend that much on meat, I’d rather have a great cut of beef. It looks quite pretty with the specks of green peas – and I don’t think anyone would confuse it for a canned stew!

  21. Kathy
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 11:52:37

    Well, at least you remembered them before you ate it…I just realized I forget the peas when Trevor mentioned it on my blog…LOL! Your stew looks quite delicious!

  22. thekalechronicles
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:03:22

    First of all, your stew looks good. But your butcher should have steered you to a less expensive cut of lamb.

  23. 21stcenturyhousewife
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:32:57

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! Definitely comfort food!

  24. Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:39:53

    Lovely photo, as always. The lamb thing did seem to stump many of us, but glad you had the guts to give it a go!

  25. nana
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 14:55:06

    Hubby and I both enjoyed this one, even though I used beef. I did like all
    the various methods that Dorie uses, very different from a lot of stews that I have made. Great photos.

  26. Betty
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 15:31:36

    I wish I loved lamb, because this is beautiful! 🙂

  27. loavesandstitches
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 16:01:16

    Looks great! I’m waitin for mine to come out of the oven. I used a boneless leg of lamb that cost me $5.99/lb. It didn’t even occur to me that I was not using the cut the recipe called for!

  28. oneexpatslife
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 16:54:56

    We used half the meat and kept all of the other ingredients the same. This gave us enough for 4 hearty portions and I thought that it had plenty of meat. Yours looks quite tasty.

  29. Krissy
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 17:29:17

    Very pretty looking stew. I’m passing as it is about 100^ here today and after mowing the lawn I don’t want to come in for a hot bowl of stew. But, I’m happy to see how it turned out…maybe next January for me.

  30. Gracie ~ Food Fascination
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 17:38:38

    I was a little discouraged by the price of lamb too. I am only cooking for my husband and I, yet, I didn’t want to half the recipe. I used part lamb shoulder and lamb shank. I cooked the meat in a slow cooker all day, so it turned out. YUM.

  31. pamkaren
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 17:53:45

    Shoulda, coulda, woulda…wish I had done beef instead of lamb and saved the $$! Did the pea thing too! Yours looks so nice in the colorful bowl.

  32. Diane Balch (@DianeBalch)
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 19:25:22

    I forgot the peas for our dinner but remembered them later and took another picture with semi-frozen peas in leftover stew.

  33. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 19:26:32

    Wow. That looks amazing.

  34. betsy
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 19:58:23

    Those peas really add need color. Otherwise it’s just kinda brown and dull looking, though delicious.

  35. rondamkisner
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 20:12:06

    I am sure that your stew tastes nothing like the stuff from a can! I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to do lamb!

  36. Trae C
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 02:38:29

    Now that looks appetizing! And over white rice too. I grew up eating stew over white rice – reminds me of my dad.

  37. Amanda
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 02:40:13

    I don’t think I have ever cooked lamb before, this would be quite a stretch for me but I need to try something similar sometime just to say I did it! You are so brave in the kitchen!

  38. Anita Menon
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 05:40:40

    Looks so sumptuous! yummy!

  39. sanyaliving
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 06:33:34

    I think it looks great! Definitely nothing store bought about it!

  40. hotlyspiced
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 06:33:51

    I love lamb navarin. I’ve made it before as there’s a recipe in one of my favourite cookbooks but I’m sure it uses lamb neck chops, certainly not lamb racks – I would think that’s a very expensive cut of meat to use in a dish like this. It certainly looks like it turned out brilliantly though xx

  41. Frankly Entertaining (@frentertaining)
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 09:12:42

    I couldn’t stomach the $40 that the lamb cost. I went with beef instead, and it was a huge hit at our house!

  42. Simply Life
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 10:48:17

    this looks like a great meal for a chilly night!

  43. maha
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 12:53:00

    yummy yummy just yumm…..dats it…nice pic

  44. Holly
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 15:34:00

    This is a gorgeous looking dish. The colors are so pretty 🙂 .. and I bet it tastes amazing too!

  45. Liz Berg (@ThatSkinnyChick)
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 15:34:18

    I’m not sure “this stew wasn’t that bad” is a ringing endorsement! But it does look delicious…and adding the peas at the end made for a beautiful color contrast! I will have to try this one eventually…my hubby would enjoy it~

  46. eatinglikeahorse
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 16:32:30

    I have to say, I looked at the title of this post and just thought… what?! But it looks so good with that thick sauce and the veg; lamb’s definitely my fabourite when it comes to meat 🙂

  47. Quay Po Cooks
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 20:46:26

    I don’t eat lamb but I will use this recipe with beef. I like the addition of the peas.

  48. Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 22:33:24

    What a comfy bowl of soup. I would love to have this dish 🙂

  49. Cakelaw
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 00:51:46

    Good on you for giving it a go, despite your reservations. I loved this one, but refused to buy the whole meat quota either – perhaps lamb is cheaper in France.

  50. loveforfood
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 08:08:06

    I am hungry for beautiful food photos – photos that inspire me 

  51. Parsley Sage
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 08:11:40

    Ha! I’m the worst about leaving stuff out. Even when I have no distractions! Looks like it turned out pretty good though. No ‘canned’ versions here 🙂

  52. kitchen flavours
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 09:23:14

    This looks delicious!

  53. ohfishiee
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 09:41:30

    so perfectly stewed 🙂 too bad i cant take lamb. i’d replace that with chicken then

    Latest: Of Latest Hit: Sesame Ramen

  54. Just A Smidgen
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:03:23

    I wonder why you couldn’t just cut up the lamb steak? I’ve done that for beef stews in a pinch. In any event.. it must have been succulent, there’s no way I’d ever think you’d opened up a can of… anything!! Beautiful food photography here!

  55. atasteofmadess
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:24:17

    This looks ridiculously good! I love the colors. Yum!

  56. Catalina @ Cake with Love
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:15:49

    The sauce looks delicious!!!! I would love deep some warm, soft bread in it!!

  57. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 14:04:06

    This looks so satisfying and delicious Yummy – and gorgeous colours too!

  58. Marie
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 14:24:06

    If someone made a canned stew that looked like yours does, I’d buy it by the crateful!

  59. RebeccaSubbiah RD (@chowandchatter)
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 15:44:14

    love lamb and yep wish it wasn’t so expensive

  60. Beth
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 17:51:59

    It looks delicious. I’m sorry you didn’t love it, but the colors are really stunning.

  61. Norma Chang
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 18:25:14

    I too did not think one uses rack of lamb for stew.

  62. Asmita (@FoodieAsmita)
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 19:05:01

    This looks absolutely delicious! I love lamb and goat meat but cook rarely with it.

  63. Baker Street (@bakerstreet29)
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 21:45:12

    This lamb dish looks divine. I imagine it paired perfectly with sticky white rice.

  64. Miriam
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 00:52:07

    I get turned off to food if it smells funny too, it lsure ooks yummy :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  65. pencilkitchen
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 01:55:52

    I bet it’s the best lamb ever!

  66. Katerina
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 06:48:54

    I am not a big fan of lamb, because of its intense smell, but I think I would like this one. The red sauce would eliminate the smell and make it more tender! It looks delicious!

  67. Alice
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 07:33:57

    The lamb smells to you? … hmmm… I dont notice a distinct smell with lamb… well glad you liked it either way! 🙂

  68. Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 11:36:05

    This looks so delicious and warm! Wonderful recipe.

  69. Juliana
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 15:02:47

    Awesome picture of the stew…I yet have to stew lamb 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  70. littlefrenchbakery
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 15:57:04

    that’s so funny! I forgot to add the peas to until I was looking through the camera lens! Looks great!

  71. Reem | Simply Reem
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 19:22:23

    Deliciously Divine!!!
    Such a comfort recipe…Love it.

  72. Erin E
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 20:33:41

    Looks delicious! I bet the rice was a good starch for the stew! I hear you about the price, I ended up with goat instead (totally thought it was cheaper lamb!).

  73. kathleen
    May 01, 2012 @ 09:44:57

    It’s looks scrumptious and I bet the bed of white rice was great with it.

  74. mireia
    May 01, 2012 @ 10:32:26

    Looks great, what a shame it’s so expensive!!!

  75. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    May 02, 2012 @ 01:08:33

    Although I’m reluctant to cook lamb because of flavor and smell (probably only one who doesn’t like could notice such thing) but eating the lamb in stew can be a totally different story as it’s less obvious. Your stew looks delicious indeed!

  76. jora
    May 03, 2012 @ 12:15:51

    I think my grocery bills have definitely gone up since I started FFWD! At least most if it tastes good 🙂

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