This garlic-rich sauce is pure heaven for lovers of the edible bulb. To save time, substitute minced jarred garlic; just know it's not as good as spring's fresh, young garlic. Also, Michael prefers grapeseed oil to olive oil because "its high smoke point is excellent for high-heat applications, such as sautéing. The neutral flavor won't compete with other ingredients, and grapeseed oil is lower in saturated fat than any other oil." He recommends plain-flavored Salute Santé Grapeseed Oil, $13 for a 17-ounce can; salutesante.com.
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or olive oil
3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/2 -inch cubes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine
2 Spanish onions, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
1 cup garlic, minced
6 medium-size new potatoes, cut into eighths
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 cups spring vegetables, such as baby carrots, zucchini, and pattypan squash, blanched and halved*
Heat oil in a large stainless Dutch oven. Coat lamb cubes with salt, pepper, and flour. Brown in hot oil, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Remove lamb from pan, and drain any excess oil. Add red wine, scraping bottom of pan to loosen up bits of browned meat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Add lamb back to pan with vegetables. Add potatoes and next 3 ingredients; stir and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add blanched vegetables, thyme, and rosemary; stir and let simmer 30 more minutes. Garnish, if desired.
*To blanch, plunge vegetables briefly into boiling water, then into cold water to stop the cooking process.