The point of a stew, it should go without saying, is its flavour rather than its form. So, while the crunchy salad strips of carrot, spring onion and pepper do bring colour and beauty to this otherwise brown study, at the same time their texture and Asian-flavoured bite provide the perfect partner for the rich, aromatic spiciness of the soft-braised stew.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1kg/2lb 4oz lamb neck, cut into pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 4 carrots, cut into chunks
- 100g/3½oz fresh or frozen peas
- 100g/3½oz green beans
- salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole (cocotte) and brown the meat, garlic and onion. Add the bay leaf, thyme and carrots, and enough water to cover the meat by at least a couple of centimetres.
- Bring to a simmer and remove any scum that rises to the top. Once all the scum is removed, cover the pan. Cook for 1½-2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
- Five minutes before serving add the peas and beans to the lamb. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and serve straightaway.