This was a deliciously thick, rich stew. The recipe calls for lardons, which are thick rectangular chunks of bacon. I have yet to find a source of chunks of regular bacon in the right size, so for this recipe used pancetta. This is sizzled until it has rendered its fat. The fat is discarded, which at the time seemed like tipping out flavour, but it turns out that a lot of fat enters this recipe, so it requires a thorough skimming during the cooking to avoid a thick layer of orange gunk on the surface when served.

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In a nutshell:
Thoroughly brown the lamb, remove and sizzle the lardons until they have rendered their fat. Discard fat, remove lardons. Add onions and celery, sautee then add tomato paste, followed shortly after by Tblsp flour. Stir, then add glass of wine. Scrape up the fond. Add the meat + stock, bouquet garni, carrots, garlic back in and simmer. Add rounded chunks[time consuming! ] of potato at the end.

Next time I will get it done more authentically and on the cheap with lamb necks [instead of shoulder – I think],  and normal bacon.

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