My friend Aksel just called wanting the recipe for a lamb stew I made last year in Flayosc. At first I could not remember but as we discussed the dish it came back to me. It was a recipe that I made up after having something similar in the restaurant La Treille Muscate in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in the Var.
It is basically a standard braising stew that uses some uniquely Provencal ingredients. As I remember the ingredient list it was:
- Lamb shoulder, off the bone and cut up into large chunks, roughly 200 grams per person;
- Artichoke hearts preferably purple, small and one per person. If you can only get large normal hearts then use as many as you can get into the stewing pot along with the meat;
- Pitted Olives;
- Olive tree branches the small new growth ones (come on steal them in a garden center), the point here is to get the leaves not the actual branches so there ought to be more sources of those;
- Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and turnip;
- Fava Beans;
- Bouget garnie or if you can get your hands on fresh Provencal herbs like rosemary, French thyme, tarragon, basil, savory (type of mint), cracked fennel, lavender and marjoram use those;
- Bottle of white vine;
- Vinegar about a soup spoon and half, I use either red vine or balsamic;
- Loads of olive oil;
- Salt and pepper;
Marinate the lamb in olive oil, garlic and pepper for at least half hour but longer is better, then brown the meat over high heat in the skillet. Remove from the skillet add some butter and caramelize the vegetables. Add back the meat and poor over the vine and vinegar and boil off most of the alcohol. Add the rest of the ingredients except the beans and simmer in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 3 hours. Roughly two hours in add the beans.
Serve with mashed potatoes or fresh new ones. I like to make a mash with truffle flavored olive oil but then I also love truffle…
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