Braised lamb is a hearty dish, which I prefer to skip over in the hot summer days. Now that the days are getting shorter and colder, it’s time to go back to it.
The following stew has few ingredients, yet lots of flavor; from the use of red wine as the cooking liquid, and from the aromatic “Herbs de Provence” mix seasoning. The dish is quick to assemble and prepare, and is perfect for easy entertaining.
While it is ready for serving soon after cooking, it tastes even better if kept in the fridge overnight, and reheated before serving. Another upgrade, is to use the liquid and braised mirepoix vegetables to create a tasty sauce for the meat.
I served the dish with purple potatoes puree, which paired beautifully with the color of the dish, but other starches would work just as well. Try it and enjoy.
* “Herbs de Provence” mix, varies from one brand to another. The mix I used here contained fennel, basil, garlic, lemon peel and salt, on top of the traditional herbs mix.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Braising time: 3 hours
Chilling time: overnight
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs salt
½ tsp four peppers mix
1.3 lbs (600 grams) lamb shoulder chops
1 Tbs Herbs de Provence (see notes)
2 cups red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
For the sauce:
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water
1. Preheat the oven to 240F (115C). Heat 1 Tbs oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves and some of the salt and pepper. Mix and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Move the vegetables to one side of the pot. Pour the rest of the oil to the clean side, add the meat and season with the rest of salt and pepper. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side. Add the Herbs de Provence and wine. Mix and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes, over medium-high heat.
2. Place the covered pot in the oven and braise for 40 minutes. Lower the heat to 200F (95C) and braise for 1½ hours. Uncover the pot and place back in the oven for 30 minutes.
3. Bring to room temperature. Absorb most of the fat using paper towels. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. When ready to serve, reheat over medium-high heat. Transfer the meat to a warm plate, cover and keep in a warm place.
5. Discard the bay leaves. Blend the liquids and vegetables and strain through a fine sieve into a medium pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Add the butter and mix to incorporate. Add the cornstarch slurry, mix and cook for a minute, to a shiny thick sauce, and serve with the meat.