3 Comments to 'Lamb Ragu'
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When I originally thought this up, I had planned to use leftover lamb. I didn’t get round to it earlier in the week though so Stephen ended up taking Sunday’s leftovers to work as sandwiches. I had a day off from work today though so adjusted my plan slightly to use a lamb shank. Lamb mince would have worked too but there’s something about it I don’t really like. I also wanted the extra flavour that comes with using meat on the bone.
I briefly considered going heavy on the spices and using chilli too but decided I wanted something gentler that would allow the lamb flavour to come through. I haven’t ruled those options out completely though and may well experiment next time.
1 onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cinnamon
Mixed herbs (I used mostly parsley but also a little rosemary and oregano)
Glass red wine
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tbsp worcester sauce
Salt and pepper
Bay leaf (I’ve run out but I would have added one if I hadn’t)
Start by browning a lamb shank and then removing to a plate. In the same pan, fry onions and celery with some salt until soft. Add garlic and cook for a further minute or two.
Next, add the tomato paste and allow to colour for a minute or two. Add the cinnamon and herbs and cook for another minute.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine and return the lamb to the pan.
Now add the tomatoes, the stock, the milk and some worcester sauce. Season with a little more salt and rather more pepper. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for four hours with the lid on but slightly ajar. For the last hour, I encouraged the meat off the bone so that it was completely submerged in the cooking liquid. Just before serving, you can break the meat down further if it hasn’t completely broken up.
There is a lot of excess fat which would be easier to remove if this was cooked the day before and left in the fridge overnight. The flavours would develop further that way too. Even though we ate this the same day, there was still plenty of flavour; the lamb came through which is what I was aiming for and the whole dish was rich with a subtle sweetness without being overpowering. I’m glad I didn’t use leftover lamb now as I think that would have created a completely different dish.