Lamb Ragu

Posted By Kerri

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.

Lamb Ragu
Serves Two

Lamb shank
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
Tin tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
250ml milk
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.

Jan 28th, 2010

3 Comments to 'Lamb Ragu'

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  1. Baby Bro said,

    Lamb shank? Was that a propper cut from a butcher? Saw an article on lamb shank on the telly last week that Mr F/*-@ng G Ramsey called S!”t in a bag?

  2. Stephen said,

    Yes it was a real lamb shank of course! I remember that episode of Kitchen Nightmares – there were boil-in-the-bag lamb shanks that had so many preservatives in them that they didn’t even need to be refrigerated. And because the chef had bought them from the local cash and carry he called them “locally sourced” on the menu!

  3. Steve said,

    Which spices would you plan to use in the lamb ragu?

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