Recipe for a February Sunday!

France, Provence in winter.

Not exactly book news, but definitely something to add a delicious scent to the air while you cuddle up and enjoy a steamy read.  

PROVENÇAL LAMB DAUBE – serves 6 – 8 (depends on appetites)

Adapted from somewhere on the Internet, but it gets rave reviews from friends and family.

While this is a recipe for lamb, I must admit that I love it with veal even more. If done right, you will cut the meat with a fork. It’s totally delicious! Also remember I’m a cook taught by a Greek mother. That means all measurements are approximate and seasoning is done mostly in the moment.



3 lbs. lamb (shoulder is great) cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 lb. thick-cut bacon, slice it into ½ inch pieces


1+ Tbs. salt to taste

Fresh black ground pepper to taste

3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste…just be careful with this

1 bouquet garni (Tie fresh sprigs thyme, basil, rosemary, add 1-2 bay leaf, and wrap it together…please don’t worry if fresh (it is best) isn’t available, just sprinkle dry herbs over the layers, and place bay leaf in middle and on top—remove before serving.)

My friend (she’s really a phenomenal cook) adds fennel seed—I don’t—your choice

Italian parsley, chopped for garnish

***Veggies and the like

1 small head of fennel, cut into 8 wedges

3-4 small (very ripe) tomatoes, thick wedges

½ of an orange, peel on, cut into thin slices

3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced (3 in original recipe, I use more 10?/cut garlic in slivers)

8-10 small round potatoes, peeled and cut in half

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large onion, halved and cut into thick slices

2 celery stalks, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

½? cup smaller-sized Kalamata olives, (I leave pits in, but then again my family knows. And feel free to substitute your favorite olives.)


1½ cups red wine (your choice/my favorite is Malbec-I know, not French)

1 cup beef stock



  • Preheat oven to 380°F.
  • Season lamb with salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Place one-half of the lamb and the bacon on the bottom of favorite Dutch oven(I’d like to tell you mine is Le Creuset, but it’s a nice 7q one I picked up at Target about ten years ago) and top with one-half of the vegetables. Repeat layering, finishing with vegetables.
  • Add wine, stock covering meat and vegetables—you can always add more wine J
  • Tuck the bouquet garni in there, and make sure it’s snug and wet.
  • Cover tighlty.
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 380°F.
  • Reduce temperature to 280°F and bake for another 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest 30 minutes before serving.

This stew tastes even better the next day!


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