According to the Larousse Gastronomique, this classic dish dates from the reign of Louis XIV, and is typically made with lamb shoulder chops. I used boneless lamb chunks as an updated alternative. Lamb Champvallon.
- 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
- 1 pound large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2½ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, minced. plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 medium idaho or russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
- ½ cup dry white wine
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often until fragrant, softened and just beginning to color. Remove the onions and garlic from the pan and set aside.
Add an additional 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Cook the lamb in as close to a single layer as possible, until well-brown. About 5 minutes per side. If there is too much meat to fit comfortably in the pot, work in batches, adding more oil as needed. Transfer the meat to a bowl as it cooks in that case. When all the meat is cooked return it to the pot and deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Then add 2-cups of the stock, the onion mixture and 1 tablespoon minced rosemary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover; stirring occasionally. Simmer until meat is tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened. About 1 hour.
Coat a 12-inch oval baking dish with some of the butter. Set the rest aside. Cover bottom of the baking dish dish with about half the potato slices. Start along the outside edge and work inwards, overlapping each potato slice as you work. Sprinkle the potatoes with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Pour the lamb and all of its liquid over the potatoes. If necessary add the remaining ½ cup of stock to be assured that the liquid come up about 3/4 of the way over the lamb chunks. Top the lamb with more potato slices in a similar fashion as the bottom being sure they overlap. The goal is to seal the meat inside somewhat. Sprinkle with additional rosemary, salt and pepper and a few dollops of butter here and there.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven until top is nicely browned and the edges of the potato are crisp, about 1 hour. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool somewhat to set up before serving.