Lamb Stew With Root Vegetables

4 pounds lamb stew meat with bones (from neck and shoulder)
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh thyme leaves, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup sunflower or canola oil, divided
1 large onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 cups chicken or beef broth
1 cup red wine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 pound carrots and/or parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound rutabagas and/or turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Pat the lamb dry. Combine the flour and 1 tablespoon of the thyme in a shallow bowl. Season generously with the salt and pepper. Add lamb and toss to coat.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lift lamb pieces out of flour, shaking off excess, and add in a single layer to pan. Do not overcrowd pan; you may have to cook in batches.

Brown meat on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove meat as it browns and set aside. Continue browning remaining meat.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the onion to pan and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, wine and garlic, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer.

Return meat to pan. Partially cover pan and let simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours.

Add the carrots, celery root and rutabagas; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

— Recipe from "Recipes From the Root Cellar," by Andrea Chesman (Storey Publishing, $18.95).

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