Who in their right mind makes a long-simmering lamb ragu in July? Well, I guess that would be me. Me who lives in a city with just two seasons – Spring (Warm) and Summer (Boiling Hot). Me who makes cold noodle salad in January and lamb ragu in July. Maybe you can bookmark this for Fall?
A good ragu is made from simple ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry. Because the ingredients are so simple, it’s key that they’re good quality. Good olive oil, produce, garlic, tomatoes and meat. Throw it all in a pot and let it simmer slowly for a couple of hours until the meat falls apart and everything melds together into something deliciously comforting. A ragu is the perfect Sunday supper.
I made this for my easy, no-machine orecchiete but it’s perfect over any kind of hearty pasta or grain. And it’s even better when followed immediately by a nap.
On that note, recipes will be scarce for a bit because I’ll be exploring the Pacific Northwest with Tom. (I’ve even made a spreadsheet of all the restaurants we want to hit up.) So, I’ll post a sweet treat next week, but I won’t be as post-y as usual.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. pieces of lamb (I used boneless shoulder chops)
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red wine
28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium. Once it’s hot add the olive oil. Season the lamb with salt and sear it in the olive oil, allowing for about 5 minutes per side. You want a nice, brown char on the meat.
Remove the lamb and add the onions and carrots. Sautee for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the onions just begin to get translucent. Add the meat back in and cover with remaining ingredients. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce it to low and let simmer for about an hour.
After the hour (or 2 – whatever works for you) passes, remove the lamb to a plate. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart to a shred (like pulled pork). Once all of the lamb is shredded, add it back to the pot and simmer for at least another 30 minutes.
Ladle over pasta and sprinkle with freshly ground Parmesan cheese.