Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N = Nature Conservancy and Navarin of Lamb

I was recently made aware of the Nature Conservancy of Canada which, since its foundation has protected 2.5 million acres across the BCcountry. I recently received an email from them describing land which had been deeded to them in British Columbia by a man who was 100 yrs. old – he had a tenancy agreement with them until he died at 105. His property once attracted bluebirds but during his life time they had disappeared. In recent years the NCC has managed to reintroduce Eastern Bluebirds into the area which would have delighted the old man who used to own the property. It is a comfort to me that this conservancy is here to help preserve and protect land for future generations. The picture shows the mountains of British Columbia which is an item on my bucket list.

Below is a recipe my mother frequently made as she was very fond of it. However, by the time she was making this recipe I no longer lived at home and have never made it myself. I really should do so except that in our part of Canada lamb is an expensive ingredient.

Navarin of Lamb

Navarin, likely to have been named after the navet (turnip), originally the main accompanying vegetable. Some chefs therefore use the name navarin, quite justifiably, for other types of ragout (of shellfish, poultry, monkfish, etc.) garnished with turnips.


serves 5 - 6 Navarin of Lamb
1 kg (2 1/4 lb) best end of neck or shoulder of lamb
2 tbsp (30 ml) oil
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
1 tbsp (15 g) flour
4 cups (32 fl oz) 900 ml stock or water
30 ml (2 tbspsJ tomato paste
salt and pepper
bouquet garni
4 onions, skinned and quartered
4 carrots, pared and sliced
1-2 turnips, pared and quartered
8 small, even sized potatoes, peeled
chopped parsley


1. Trim the meat and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes. Fry it lightly on all sides in the oil. If there is too much fat at this stage, pour off a little to leave 15-30 ml (1-2 tbsps).
2. Stir in the sugar and heat until it browns slightly, then add the flour, stirring until this also cooks and browns.
3. Remove from the heat, stir in the stock gradually, then bring to the boil and add the tomato paste seasoning and bouquet garni. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
4. Remove the bouquet garni, add the onions, carrots and turnip and continue cooking for another 1/2 hour.
5. Finally, add the potatoes and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, until tender.
6. Serve the meat on a heated serving dish, surrounded by the vegetables and garnished with the parsley

Have a great day


  1. He was 100 years old? Now that's a full life.

    1. He didn't die til he was 105. If you are in reasonably good shape, that's great.

  2. That is beautiful photo. It is sad that some people see that and dream of future Wal-Marts and such.

    1. I never thought of that, you are so right Rusty. I always think of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series where one of the worlds was completely built over and the only thing left were climate controlled parks.

  3. Great posts, Jo. I've heard a saying I subscribe to. "We didn't inherit the earth from our parents. We're borrowing it from our children." :-)

    1. Ii think that is a good saying. I also subscribe to the Aboriginal idea that the earth doesn't belong to anyone.

  4. The meal sounds and looks quite delicious. Canada is a place I'd like to go to as well. How far up the mountains? No too far, but anyway. :) Writer’s Mark

    1. I must say, anything my mother cooked was delicious, she was a real chef.

      Never been to the mountains, I too would love to go.

  5. This is a marvelous entry. I loved reading about the bluebirds and the recipe sounds delicious! Two things I adore: birds and
    best wishes,

  6. What a beautiful place. I have this urge to walk and walk there forever.

    1. It is beautiful isn't it. I must put BC on my bucket list.

  7. Hi Jo - thank goodness for our Nature Conservationists .. and Navarin of Lamb was one of "my recipes" that I used to cook regularly in my early adult days ..

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Yes, its lucky there are people out there who are willing to do so much for Conservation.

      I haven't eaten Navarin in many a year, lamb is too expensive and too unavailable round here. I sometimes buy fresh lamb at the market to make a hot pot and it costs me a fortune.

  8. I just had lamb on Sunday for the first time in years- so this is kind of a coincidence. I'm going to have to try and buy it more often!

    1. I love lamb, unfortunately for me, its an expensive meat to obtain, lamb is not widely eaten in my part of Canada. In the UK, it was an inexpensive meat compared to beef. Do try this recipe, its delicious.