Serves 4 to 6
- 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat, cut into 2-inch chunks
- flour for dusting
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large onions, 1 pound total, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 2 leeks, 1/2 pound total, including white and pale green parts only, rinsed, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine, preferably Chardonnay
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and quartered, or cut into 1-inch cubes. (Reserve in cold water)
- 6 to 8 cups unsalted chicken stock or water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, preferably wild
- 2 sprigs winter savory
- Leaves from 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- fleur de sel, for finishing
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place in oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Lightly dust the lamb with the flour and season with salt and black pepper.
- In an enameled cast iron Dutch oven or a heavy oven proof casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and brown for 6 to 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sweat the onions, leeks and garlic along with the browned meat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure they do not color.
- Add the wine and cook to reduce the liquid by three-fourths.
- Add the potatoes and stock or water, making sure that the lamb and vegetables are covered by 1 to 2 inches of liquid.
- Add the thyme, savory, and bay leaf and stir well to incorporate.
- Cover the pot loosely with a lid or with an oiled or buttered round of parchment paper pricked with a tiny air hole in the center. Return liquid to a boil and transfer the pot to the oven.
- Bake the stew until the lamb is very tender and the potatoes are soft and have begun to break up, so that the thicken the sauce—1 1/2 to 2 hours; cook for up to 30 minutes longer, if necessary.
- Discard the parchment, if used, and add the thyme, savory, and bay leaf.
Ladle the stew into shallow-rim soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley just before serving. Serve with pepper and fleur de sel on the side.