Oh Sweet Day!

Julia Child’s Lamb Stew


Julia Child Lamb Stew

Not that it really matters. But a couple days ago we finally found out we are having a girl.

As I don’t think I can take three guys in the house, having a girl means I will not be that screwed afterall! Oh, I WISH, AGAIN!

I made this stew for my husband’s birthday. It did take some time, and it’s great! And I don’t think I have time to come up with this kind of dish in the near future. I simply followed the Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, replaced beef with cubed lamb leg. This time I was able to find pearl onions too.

Ingredients (serves 6):

6 ounces chunk of bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 lb leg of lamb, cut into stew cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups of full-bodied, young red wine
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 spring of rosemary
20 pearl onions, skin removed
1 lb wild mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Remove rind, and cut bacon into 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2-inch long. Simmer rind and bacon for 10 mins in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry. Preheat oven to 450F.

Saute the bacon in oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly brown. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you saute the lamb.

Dry the lamb in towel. Saute it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the vegetables. Pour out the sauteing fat.

Return the lamb and bacon to the casserole and toss with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the lamb. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for another 4 minutes. Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325F.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock to barely cover the lamb. Add tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

When the lamb is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a skillet until bubbling, add the onions and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown evenly. Pour in white wine, season to taste. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onion are perfect tender but retain their shape, and the liquid evaporated. Set aside.

Melt remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter another skillet until bubbling, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Set aside.

When the lamb is tender, pour the content of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two until thicken. Pour the sauce back to the lamb.

Add the cooked onions and mushrooms. Gently stir the casserole to let the sauce cover the onions and mushrooms.

Garnish with parsley and serve over mashed potato, rice or noodle.


  1. Hi June, my apology! I’ve already updated the recipe. Onions and mushrooms should be put back to cassrole after the sauce is done.

  2. I have just read through your recipe and where are the mushrooms as shown in the picture

  3. Congrats on the soon to come baby girl. Lucky you :) now you have one of each. The stew looks so beautiful and hearty, although i have no idea how to pronounce the french name. Thanks for the simple name “Lamb Stew.” I like lamb. yum yum.

  4. Congrats! A baby girl! Ethan is going to be a wonderful big brother. :)

  5. Your lamb stew looks terrific! Congrats on all the good news! Love it!


  6. Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing, and congrats!

  7. Lovely meal – lovely news. Congratulations!

  8. Congratulations! You already have a reallly reallllly realllllllly cute little boy and you’ll have a little girl very soon! I’m so happy for you!

    Please continue to update your blog during your mat leave!
    I’ll miss you and Ethan for sure! =)

  9. Congratulations on your good news and best wishes to your husband. The dish you prepared for his birthday looks perfect. Great idea replacing the beef with lamb.

  10. Congratulations!! A little girl!! =) =) =) Happy birthday to your husband. Julia Child would be smiling at this.

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