Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu
It's true slow and steady wins the race..
I was out for lunch with my sister and my gorgeous great niece, (yep, I’m a great aunt). My sister being a typical jewish grandmother ordered an adult-size lamb ragu for her-2 year-old granddaughter. Eat my little pumpernickel, eat, my darling, I sang while my sister danced, enticing her to eat. She did eat a quarter of the portion and my sister was semi-happy with that outcome. I asked my sister why she ordered lamb ragu and she said, Are you kidding me? There is no better lamb dish! It’s the BEST.
‘I'm up to the challenge,’ I blurted out. (My mouth always works faster than my mind.)
To which she replied,’What challenge?’
‘I'll make a lamb ragu for shabbat dinner this week, and it will be the best you’ve ever tasted, EVAH!’
'Are you crazy? Why do you want to work so hard.’ I didn’t correct her and tell her that its hardly any work..
‘Well, put me down for lamb ragu because THAT'S what I’ll be bringing to you, end of story.’
And with that I made my lamb ragu for shabbat dinner. Everyone loved it and said it was the BEST. As I've mentioned before, in my family everything is either THE BEST or THE WORST and, yes, believe it or not I have had a few dishes placed in THE WORST column. My beloved family can be brutal! But since I got THE BEST reaction, with that stamp of approval I decided to make it again, just to be sure for my book club meeting, and the gals that eat meat were pretty happy with the result too. So here is a delicious lamb ragu recipe, tender, and full of flavour this slow-cooked lamb is a perfect winter comfort food. It’s a hearty recipe for the whole family or your meat-loving guests. I honestly think it’s the best dinner to make if you are entertaining, because it is so quick to put together and frees you to do other things while its cooking. I will definitely be making it again for family and friends.
1.250g leg of lamb
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper according to taste
2 celery sticks
1/2 packet thyme
1/2 cup wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 punnet fresh cherry tomatoes
2 & 1/2 -3 &1/2 cups beef stock
300 g wide fresh pasta.
Pre-heat oven to 150 or 160 depending on your oven .
Place leg of lamb in a large Dutch oven or cooktop-safe roasting dish. Add salt, pepper and 1 table spoon olive oil. Rub it onto the lamb thoroughly. Brown the lamb on both sides over medium-high heat on the cooktop . Remove lamb from cooking dish .
Add remaining two table spoons of oil to the dutch oven and stir in onions, until translucent, then add garlic cloves, celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and stir for 3 min.
Pour red wine and allow to cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in the tomato paste then stir in 2 & 1/2 cups of beef stock and the thyme, stalk and all. Stir for another minute.
Turn off the heat, return the leg of lamb to the pot and turn it over to make sure it’s covered in sauce, cover with lid and place lamb in the oven, and bake for 4-5 hours or more, depending on your oven, check the lamb after 2 hours to see if you need any more stock. I needed to add stock.
You will know lamb is ready when it’s tender and is falling apart. Use a fork to pull the meat off the bones
Discard the bones and thyme stems .
Cook the pasta and toss it through the lamb ragu. I chose to serve it with rice the second time, which is why there is no photo of it with pasta. I did I serve it with pasta the first time which was also delicious.
If serving with pasta, top with freshly grated parmesan.