Recipe by Gary Rhodes and taken from Sunday Magazine many years ago!
Serves : 4
1 ½ lb (750g) middle neck of lamb, cut into cutlets
1 lb (450g) potatoes
4oz (100g) unsalted butter
1 garlic clove
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 1 sprig each of fresh rosemary and thyme tied in a square of muslin) or bouquet garni sachet
2 ½ pints (1.5 litres) chicken stock or water
6oz (175g) carrots
6 celery sticks
8oz (225g) Savoy cabbage
2 tsp freshly chopped parsley
Step One : In a large pan, cover the lamb with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain off the water and refresh the meat in cold water. Drain well. Whichever, cut of lamb you use – for example, neck, scrag end or chops – you should always do this blanching process. It removes any impurities and gives the stock a cleaner, clearer finish.
Step Two : Slice the onions and then peel and dice the potatoes into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions, half the potatos and the garlic clove.
Step Three : Add the bouquet garni to the pan and fry for 2 mins. Add the lamb cutlets and cover with the chicken stock or water. Bring the liquid to the simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30 mins. The meat will be half-cooked and the potatoes will have started to puree and thicken the stock.
Step Four : Peel and dice the carrots and add them to the pan. Continue to cook the stew for a further 10 mins. Dice the celery sticks into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces and add to the pan with the remaining potatoes. Cook for 15-20 mins. At this stage, the potatoes shouldn’t be cooked until they’re pureed but until they’re just soft.
Step Five : Shred the cabbage, add to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the meat and vegetables are tender. Adding the cabbage towards the end of the cooking time ensures that you don’t lose the fresh flavour and that the stew won’t discolour. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Step Six : Remove the bouquet garni and garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve the stew in individual bowls or from one larg bowl in the middle of the table. You now have a complete meal but even so, I usually serve it with good crusty bread.