Daube de Gigot (French Lamb Stew)

Simple and simply wonderful French lamb stew, adapted from an old family recipe, serves four generously (with seconds and/or leftovers) and is a complete meal all in itself. Make it on an afternoon that you are around the house, writing letters, putting together a photo album or watching a game, because you'll need to hover lovingly over the pot -- to stir and add ingredients over two+ hours. Then serve it to your friends and family with a hearty Burgundy wine. Unforgettable. Leftovers are almost better than the first serving!

2 lbs. lamb round bone shoulder chops, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces (Do not discard any bones.)
4-5 tbsp. butter
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. carrots, cut or sliced into 2" lengths
2 med. yellow onions, cut into 1/4" slices
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tsp. fresh thyme)
3-4 potatoes, cut into 2" pieces, and boiled until tender
1 lb. frozen peas
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. hot water
1/2 to 1 c. good quality red wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Sauté mushrooms in 2 tbsp. of the butter. Put aside.
In a large Dutch oven, sauté lamb in 2 tbsp. of the butter until browned. Put aside.
In fond (juice of sautéed lamb with brown bits), sauté onions and garlic until golden. Make a slurry out of 3 tbsp. flour and 1/2 cup hot water and add to onions. Stir thoroughly. Add more water if necessary. Add 1/2 c. red wine. Let simmer for 10 mins. stirring frequently. Mixture will be thick and fragrant.

To the onions, add the sautéed lamb its juices that have accumulated while resting. Stir thoroughly. Add carrots, sautéed mushrooms, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and stir thoroughly.  Set burner to low simmer and add more wine -- 1/4 to 1/2 cup. 
Stir thoroughly every 10-15 minutes, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Add more water or wine as needed. Add potatoes and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add frozen peas, simmer for 15 minutes more. Voila! It's ready! Serve with a hearty Burgundy and French bread and don't forget to offer seconds!

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