This is one of the nicest stews I know of, but it requires much care and attention, and unless carefully done, and above all, thoroughly skimmed, it is apt to be a mere brown edition of a badly made Irish Stew—and how bad that can be!—pale, anaemic-looking, greasy and tasteless and always made from nondescript pieces of mutton, which should never appear on the table. There is also a winter Navarin, made in exactly the same way, but without the addition of spring vegetables.
The best end neck of lamb (all cutlets), small new potatoes, a bunch of new carrots, a bunch of new turnips, 1/2 pint of shelled peas, 1/2 lb. of pickling onions, 1/2 lb. of tomatoes, a bouquet of mixed herbs—in the spring, these should certainly be obtainable fresh —2 bay leaves, salt and pepper—and 1 clove of garlic is undoubtedly an improvement—butter.
Put 2 or 3 ozs. of butter in a saucepan, and when hot put in the cudets and brown well on both sides. Sprinkle with a little flour—not more than a level tablespoon—and mix well. Cook till the flour is quite brown. Now just cover the cutlets with warm water, bring to the boil, and skim thoroughly. This is most essential. Season highly with salt and pepper, add the garlic, the herbs and bay leaves. Simmer very gently for 1 3/4 hours. Now remove the cudets from the saucepan, strain the liquid through a piece of butter muslin, rinse the saucepan thoroughly and replace the cudets and cover with the liquid. Meanwhile all the vegetables should have been prepared. Brown the onions in a little butter. Three-quarters of an hour before the Navarin is to be served, add the potatoes, turnips and peas. If the carrots are very small, add them a quarter of an hour after. Bring to the boil and simmer. Dish up, garnish with all the vegetables and pour the gravy over the dish.