In the middle of the winter, we often crave for some warming comfort food. I hope you enjoyed the Leek and Thyme soup last week. And while I enjoy the delicate flavors of spoonful of warm soup, this week I have a recipe that has a bit more body. Lamb Stew Provençale originates in the south of France, specifically the Provence region. Don’t let the ingredients intimidate you. This is another easy and flavorful recipe which is a meal in itself! It is reasonably priced and most of the ingredients are easy to find all year long. Some lamb marinated in red wine, a bit of brandy, a few vegetables and aromatic herbs for seasoning will do the trick!
It does require a longer cooking time but you can put it in a pot on low simmer and get on with your day. As an added bonus, it will fill your home with a delicious savory aroma of herbs and succulent lamb. It is a definite crowd-pleaser and a great dish for a family or friends gathering. The best part is that you can make it a day or two in advance and just slowly reheat it when you are ready to serve. In fact it is best served reheated, as all the flavors blend together even more.
Daube d’agneau provençale
- 3 lbs lamb shoulder cubed
- 1 inch slice of an orange peel
- 1 medium onion
- 8 oz of lean bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 bouquet garni
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups red wine
- ¼ cup brandy I like cognac best
- 2 carrots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 onions
- 1 celery stick
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 3 sprig of thyme
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Prepare the marinade. Peel the onions and garlic and mince. Peel and slice the carrots. Cut the celery in small sticks.
- Put all these ingredients in a big bowl and add the meat, the parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Add the wine and brandy. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with film and let marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours. (overnight is even better)
- Peel the onion, slice thinly and set aside.
- Scoop out the lamb pieces from the marinade.
- Filter the marinade and set aside. Keep the vegetable in a separate bowl.
- In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil and brown the meat for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add the bacon and brown for another 3 minutes, lastly add the sliced onion and brown it as well for a few minutes.
- Add the marinade to just cover the meat. Then add the bouquet garni, the orange peel and the vegetables from the marinade.
- Bring to boil, then reduce to low heat and let simmer for 3 hours. Before serving, make sure to remove the bouquet garni, the orange peel, parsley, thyme and bay leaves.
Add your personal touch!
A bouquet garni is very easy to make at home. It is an aromatic base widely used in french cuisine, especially in stews cooking for several hours. There are many variations but the most classic one is simply bay leaves, thyme and parsley sprigs. However feel free to be creative and personalize your own bouquet! You can add, for example, sage, rosemary or celery. Or you can add a bit of heat with whole peppercorns that can be removed after cooking.
The red wine used for cooking this kind of stew should be of good quality, without being too expensive. However do not hesitate to spend a bit more to pair this stew with a good bottle of red wine. I personally have a soft spot for the Burgundy region, but any full bodied wine with be a good option!
Did you know?
Daube, which is in fact a stew, takes its name from the vessel it used to be cooked in, in the olden days. The “daubière” was a terracotta pot put on the fire to cook the meat slowly. Depending on the region where it is cooked, the daube can be made with lamb or beef. Additionally the vegetables and seasonings will change accordingly.