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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Navarin Printanier

Let's face it--lamb isn't a palate-pleaser for everyone. One Easter, Jim's family were dinner guests. I'd thought about making lamb, but decided against it because of the non palate-pleaser issue, and made an innocuous ham instead. But I thought I might as well find out people's stance on lamb, for future reference. I asked Jim's nephew, David, if he liked lamb. "Sure. I mean, I guess. Mom, do I like lamb?" (David was in his 40's at the time). Dwayne, Jim's sister's husband, got truly alarmed. "Lamb?! I hate lamb. Why would you ruin dinner with lamb? If you made lamb, I'll have to go to McDonald's to get something to eat." Dwayne was never one to hide his feelings. Would he have liked, or at least tolerated, this navarin? It's hard to imagine that he wouldn't, but stubbornness is powerful.
I started with the 3 pounds of lamb shoulder, as recommended. This is a lot of meat, and it needed to be trimmed of fat and gristle, but it was so delicious after being sauteed and braised.
And the spring vegetables tasted earthy and luscious.
All it needed to be printanier was the peas: not fresh, but still good. I don't quite agree with Dorie's assessment that frozen peas are as good as fresh ones, but they're definitely more obtainable.
Dinner is ready to be served.
And for dessert, a catch-up creme brulee--I used a rhubarb-strawberry jam because I thought it would be a nice foil for the sugary creaminess, but I wasn't crazy about the jam addition. I thought the dark brown sugar would be a nice addition, but it just turned out to burn more readily than white sugar. I think I'll stick to my old recipe.