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Navarin of Lamb Oriental with Noodles & Fresh Chilli



This is a no fuss dinner party recipe, that’s for sure. It can be done in the morning, or even the day before. It’s a remaking of the old French classic “navarin d’agneau” which is so very satisfying. We’ve twisted it about in the seasonings, and added some noodles, but feel free to serve it up with whatever you fancy. As a vegetable accompaniment, we suggest stir fried peppers, or mange tout.

Ingredient list

1.5 kg. lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat, and cut into 4 cm. dice
100 ml. dark soy sauce
3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. white peppercorns
10 whole star anise
3 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large carrots, peeled, and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 leek, split at the top and washed thoroughly
2 packets fresh thick Shanghai noodles
4 small green chillies, seeded and chopped 2 tsp. sesame oil
6 spring onions
3 Tbsp. chopped coriander
Seasonal vegetables to garnish


Combine the soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, white pepper, and star anise in a large non reactive bowl.  Add the lamb pieces, and toss them thoroughly to coat each piece well with the marinade.  The lamb should marinate for at least 6 hours, but overnight is even more ideal. ( in the refrigerator.)

To cook the Lamb

First brown off the lamb pieces, in batches, over high heat, in a little vegetable oil.  As the lamb browns, sprinkle it with the flour, and continue to cook for 2 minutes more.  Drain the pieces in a colander as they are finished browning, and then place in a heavy casserole.  

Add 1 litre of water, the carrots, onion, and leek.  Bring to a simmer, and skim off any excess fat or scum.  Cover and cook over low heat, ( or in a low oven ) for approx. 1 1/2 hours, or until the lamb is tender.  

Now strain the juices through a fine sieve, and again skim aff any excess fat.  Pick the cooked onion, carrot , and leek out of the meat, and pour the strained juices back on to the meat.  Check the seasoning, and add a little salt and pepper if needed.

Cook the noodles in 5 litres of boiling salted water for approx. 5 minutes, or until soft.  Drain, and toss with the sesame oil.

To Serve

Divide the noodles in to warmed bowls, and place a ladle or two of the navarin on top.  Finish it off by sprinkling the fresh chopped chillies, spring onions, and coriander


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