Good cuts of meat to use include best end of neck, leg or shoulder. The meat should be cut into cubes.
The vegetables are traditionally carrots, turnips, small onions and potatoes. In the spring, a garnish is made from young peas and young string beans lightly cooked in water, and drained.
To make it, the meat is browned first, along with onions or a mirepoix. The mixture is then sprinkled with flour. White wine is added, along with garlic, herbs, a small bit of tomato paste, and enough water (or stock) to cover. It is allowed to simmer for an hour.
Meanwhile, the root vegetables such as carrots and turnips are usually cut into small olive-shaped balls about 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide (5 cm by 1 1/2 cm), with shaped sides. They along with onion pieces are cooked in boiling water with butter in it until the water evaporates leaving the vegetables slightly glazed, then set aside.
After an hour or so, the meat is removed from cooking broth. The liquid is strained, then thickened with beurre manié. The meat is then added back in, along with the glazed vegetables and it is reheated through and served.
If green beans and peas are also being used, they are served on top as a garnish.
The name “navarin” possibly comes from the French name for “turnip”, “navet.” Some cooks are now calling anything that has turnips in it a “Navarin.”