Saturday, September 03, 2011

Carbonnade Nimoise

My final Elizabeth David recipe (which I forgot to photograph) from our holiday was a stew, though not one cooked in beer as the name may suggest. It originates from Nimes, home also of brandade of salt cod (as featured here last week), and involves, in David's book, lamb or mutton from the leg. I used chops from the middle neck. The garlic and rosemary are also my adaptations. You must use new, waxy, potatoes, which can hold up even after stewing for three hours, at the end of which they are deliciously imbued with fat and meat juice. For 4.

4 middle neck lamb chops
1 packet lardons or pancetta; or better, 100g of pancetta chopped into cubes
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
Potatoes for 4, peeled (or scraped) and cut into cubes
2 sprigs rosemary
2tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper if you like (I usually add pepper on my plate)

This is a wonderfully simple dish. You toss everything in the oil, lay it out in a layer in a large baking dish, and brown the meat by starting it off at gas mark 8/230C for 20 minutes. Then you cover the dish with foil (or with a lid if it has one), and continue to cook at the lowest possible heat (my oven will simmer a stew at its lowest setting, gas mark S) for about three hours. That's it.

You might include other vegetables. My advice is to avoid carrots, which go dull if cooked for too long.

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