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Brown Ragoo of Lamb

The strange name of this dish comes from the French word ragout, meaning a thick meat or poultry stew, enriched with a well-flavoured stock and also containing plenty of mixed vegetables. It is an example of France's influence on British cooking. Carrots, onions and mushrooms are always easy to find, and you can substitute peas for the broad beans if necessary.

ingredients

serves 6
25 g (1 oz) butter
900 g (2 lb) leg of lamb, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes
12 small onions, skinned
3 carrots, cut into quarters
4 cloves
1 medium onion, skinned 3 fresh parsley sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs 2 bay leaves
small fresh rosemary sprig
750 ml (1 1/4 pints) lamb or beef stock
salt and pepper
100 g (4 oz) button mushrooms
175 g (6 oz) broad beans, cooked
squeeze of lemon juice
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

method

1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the lamb in batches and cook until an even golden brown. Transfer to a casserole dish using a slotted spoon. Add the small onions and the carrots to the frying pan and fry until lightly browned. Transfer to the casserole dish.

2. Stick the cloves in the onion and add to the casserole with the herbs and stock. Season to taste and bring to the boil.

3. Cover tightly and bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove the onion stuck with cloves from the casserole, then stir in the mushrooms, broad beans and lemon juice and continue to cook for 10 minutes.

5. Using a slotted spoon, lift the meat and vegetables from the casserole, arrange on a large serving plate and keep warm. Boil the liquid until it is reduced to about 400 ml (14 fl oz). Pour some of the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with the rest of the sauce handed separately. Accompany with boiled or mashed potatoes.

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