"The best cut of meat for this dish is the neck, bone still in. But if you can't for some reason find neck, or prefer boneless meat, then use shoulder," says chef Anthony Bourdain. This is an exclusive recipe from him.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 pounds lamb neck and shoulder with bones, or 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound bacon, cut into lardons (thick, oblong chunks of country bacon)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup strong, dark veal, chicken, or lamb stock (got some demi-glace? sneak in a spoonful)
- 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 Bouquet Garni
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 potatoes, peeled and "turned," meaning cut into small football shapes, or just cube the things into large dice
- 4 sprigs of flat parsley, chopped
Prep the lamb: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven on high heat. Add the butter. Foam it. Let it subside. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides in a hot pan, in batches if need be, until all of it is deep, dark brown. When browned, remove from the pan with the tongs and set aside.
Cook the stew: Add the bacon to the still-hot pan and cook until it's crispy and has rendered out its fat. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
Discard most of the fat and then add the onion, celery, and garlic to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables have caramelized (browned), about 5 minutes. Using the wooden spoon, stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the wine and scrape up all that brown stuff.
Bring the wine to a boil, reduce by half, then add the stock (and a teaspoon of demi-glace if you have any). Bring back to a boil and reduce immediately to a simmer. Add the lamb, carrot, bouquet garni, orange zest, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper, cover the pot, and simmer over low heat for about 90 minutes, occasionally skimming the fat from the surface of the stew.
After 90 minutes, add the potatoes to the stew and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Skim the stew a final time, making sure there's no film of fat floating on the surface, then serve in a big old bowl, garnished with the chopped parsley.