Curiously enough, garlic—often used with lamb—is not an ingredient in this delicate stew. The turnips enhance the flavor of the lamb and the fresh baby lima beans add a substantial texture. Serve with a chilled dry white wine. You may like this with Polente, Gnocchis, Riz aux Herbes, or a Purée de Légumes, but it is a very complete dish in itself.
Dry the lamb with a paper towel and sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, and salt and pepper. (If you add a few bones to the pot, the dish will be less elegant but even tastier.) Blanch fresh or frozen lima beans for 5 minutes and drain. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a Doufeu or cast-iron pan and add the salt pork. Lower the flame and add the lamb. Sauté for a few minutes until the lamb is browned on all sides, then add the onions, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, celery, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring well, for 5 minutes. Add the wine, cover, and cook over a low flame for 1 hour, or until the lamb is tender. Add the lima beans and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes more.
Sprinkle with the parsley or mint and serve in a preheated shallow dish.
© 1990 Mireille Johnston estate. All rights reserved.