Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables

Jim Clendenen's version of this classic French stew, called navarin d'agneau, was inspired by vegetables from an extraordinary organic produce purveyor, the Chef's Garden, in his native Ohio.

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  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or top round, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 1 pound baby carrots, peeled
  • 1 pound baby parsnips, peeled
  • 1 pound small fingerling potatoes
  • 1/2 pound baby turnips, halved
  • 8 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed, fronds reserved and chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the flour in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the lamb cubes in 4 batches, tossing to coat thoroughly.

  2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add one-fourth of the lamb cubes and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 6 minutes; transfer to a plate. Brown the remaining floured lamb in 3 batches, adding 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot per batch. Reduce the heat if the casserole bottom darkens too much.

  3. Return all of the lamb to the casserole. Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the stock and tarragon and return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the casserole and braise the stew in the oven for about 1 hour, or until the meat is nearly tender.

  4. Add the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, turnips, fennel and shallot to the lamb stew. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to distribute the vegetables. Cover the casserole, return it to the oven and cook until the meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour longer. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and fennel fronds and serve the stew in deep bowls.

Suggested Pairing

Jim Clendenen pairs the stew with a rich, powerful Pinot Noir that is full of dark-berry fruit

Contributed By Photo © Ellie Miller Published April 2006

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Aggregate Rating value: 5

Review Count: 1929

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Toni Brockington

Review Body: Excellent recipe!   I do have a suggestion though.  I was not able to find all my veges as "babies".  So, on some I bought regular size, and cut them up.  It would be SO useful if the writer of this recipe would include some kind of measurement for the veges...either ounces or cups, for this instance, and because "baby" is an imprecise term.

Date Published: 2016-08-24

Author Name: Bobbye Gordon

Review Body: applause, applause - I made this tonight.  Did a little substituting.......... I used dried tarragon instead of fresh and some madeira in lieu of sherry vinegar.  Like most soups and stews, I'm thinking 2nd day will be OUTSTANDING.  thank you for this recipe

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-12-29

Author Name: panw

Review Body: This was wonderful on a cold winter night!!! I also had trouble finding "baby" veggies, but I just used the weights listed and cut into chunks. Also had to use boneless leg since shoulder was not available. But those sweet veggies and the mild lamb flavor were a wonderful combo!! Also, the sweet flavor of tarragon was a perfect enhancement.

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2017-01-22

Author Name: Marcy Sutton

Review Body: I also didn't find "baby" vegetables, so I guessed (where does one EVER find baby turnips, parsnips or fennel??). Don't be like me and overdo it on the fennel. It overpowers the flavor big time.

Date Published: 2017-04-27