Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

There's no place like a Great British Home (even though this recipe is a little bit French) Spring Lamb Stew

In preparation for this blogging challenge, hosted by Britmums about my #GreatBritishhome, I took the Victoria Plumb quiz which ascertained what my style was. Apparently I am elegant, which for the people who know me well at least will be a source of great amusement. I am only presuming that 'a bit rough with the odd delusion of grandeur' wasn't an option. However, on closer reading what 'elegant' encompassed was not necessarily so incongruous as it did mention some of the things I love, dark wood, period pieces, traditional food...

"Elegant and classy, you just adore period décor and style. You love the classics; subtle wallpaper, dark wood and rich colours. 
You have a penchant for opulent fabrics and secretly covet a Steinway 
piano for your living room. You search antiques fairs until you get the 
perfect piece. At home, your tastes are high-class classics; game pie, 
roast beef and all the trimmings or a fillet of plaice." 
So my take on a Great British Home would be comfortable surroundings for sure, the dark wood, the gilt edged mirror, the leather couch, the vibrant coloured curtains encasing doors opening out onto the garden, mixed in with just a little touch of shabby chic. Having moved home just lately, one of my favourite acquisitions was a bargain cabinet to put my posh cups and saucers in. Phill hates it, but adorned with fairy lights, it says all you need to know about me and my style.  Elegant can be quirky and shabby.

Quirky and shabby...
Food and Drink (Courtesy of Grandma's Willow Pattern crockery).

But actually there is something much more fundamental which creates my Great British Home, and that is the food on the table, the company, the sound of chatter as we all tuck in and talk about anything and everything. It may not happen like this all the time but when it does, all of us sat about, the clatter of forks and spoons, sharing whatever is on the table, then it is the epitome of 'home' for me.

So, Sunday, we had friends around and as it was a bit unexpected the easiest, and most homeliest thing to have was a stew. I decided on a spring lamb stew seeing as it the time of year was fitting, served with some crusty French bread and butter. It was a lovely light stew with plenty of vegetables in relation to meat and importantly, every mouthful felt good for you. Just like home should feel...

Spring Lamb Stew, adapted from The French Bistro Cookbook by Richard Bertinet


40g butter
2 tbsp. olive oil and more if necessary
900g boned shoulder of lamb, trimmed and cut into chunks. (I used diced lamb leg)
2 shallots, finely chopped (I used two sliced onions)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 litre of strong lamb stock
2 tbsp. tomato puree
1 bouquet garni, (I used some chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 a tsp of dried thyme and a little less of dried rosemary)
16 new potatoes, peeled and halved if large
2 turnips, peeled, cut into halves and then into eighths
12 Chantenay carrots, peeled, topped and cut in half
5oz frozen peas
chopped parsley to garnish

Serve with crusty baguette and butter.

Melt half of the butter with the oil in a suitable casserole and begin to brown off the lamb, Do this in batches so as to allow the lamb to colour well. When browned, remove to a plate.
Melt the rest of the butter with the fat left in the casserole. Add the onions and stir them into the butter ans the oil. Cook out a little and then sprinkle them with sugar. Increase the heat and allow the onions to caramelise but keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.
Add the stock to the onions, and then pour the meat and the juices into the casserole too. Stir in the tomato puree and herbs. Stir and season and bring to the boil. Put the lid on the casserole and reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Add the vegetables to the casserole and continue simmering for another 15 minutes. Then add the peas and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. You could cook a little further to thicken the sauce if you wish. Once you are happy with the consistency taste for seasoning and then garnish with chopped parsley.
Serve with baguette, for soaking up the juices.

This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge  sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you.


  1. Good to hear about your style and got very distracted by the recipe. Commenting on behalf of myself and BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

  2. This is just perfect as a spring dish. Hand me the baguette. I just tried the quiz and apparently I'm glamorous. I'm really pleased. I have NEVER been glamorous in my life before. Perhaps I shouldn't wear these shoes with holes in any more and maybe even stop drinking this wine out of a mug.


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