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Author Notes: Lamb ragu is the quintessential winter dish, full bodied, hearty and rich. However it is hard to find a good base recipe. In this recipe I wanted to highlight the flavor and add black garlic to create more depth. —Rebecca Griffith
Makes 4-6 cups
- 3-4 pounds Lamb shoulder
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta
- 2 Onions, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 2 heads black garlic, put though a garlic press
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon rosemary chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1.5 cups fruity red wine
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 28 ounces fire roasted tomatoes with juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta whipped with an immersion blender
- 6 mint leaves, washed and dried.
- It is really important to use the shoulder of the lamb and to buy it whole -- otherwise the meat comes out a bit chalky. Cut the lamb shoulder into 1 inch or so pieces.
- Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high. Brown the lamb on two sides, do multiple batches not to crowd the pot. Set aside.
- remove lamb, add pancetta and saute until fat is rendered and it is starting to brown. Remove pancetta from the pan, place with the seared lamb, pour off all but 1 Tbs of the fat.
- Saute onions, carrots and celery until softened, then add galics and herbs until aromatic.
- Add tomato paste, cook until browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add wine, scraping up brown bits, add broth, bay leaves, tomatoes, lamb and pancetta, bring to boil then reduce to simmer. If liquid does not cover lamb, add more wine and or broth in equal increments.
- Simmer covered for 3 -4 hours until lamb is soft and pulls apart. Using a wooden spoon break up lamb pieces. Remove bay leaves.
- Serve with pasta, topped with a dollop of whipped ricotta. Garnish with mint leaf.