Rich & Meaty Lamb Ragu


The first slow cooker recipe of the season, and wow it was good. I had it with polenta and it was like a warm blanket. I had to start it early and be patient, but on a rainy Sunday there was nothing better to do.

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Adapted from Food.com recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 800g stew lamb (shoulder is great), cut in chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 x 400g cans peeled whole plum tomatoes

Method:

  1. Pat the lamb chunks dry with a paper towel. Liberally coat the lamb chunks with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Peel and coarsely chop the onions, and chop the garlic. Chop the carrot into thin rounds.
  3. Place an oven-proof Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium-high heat, and add olive oil to cover the bottom thinly. When oil is hot, add the lamb and brown deeply. Do this in batches if necessary. Don’t worry about drying out the meat — you want it browned darkly for good flavor. (DON’T over-crowd the pan otherwise it will just stew and steam and it won’t brown. You want that browning for the caramelised flavour.)
  4. When the meat is thoroughly browned, add the onions. Lower the heat, and cook slowly over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are golden.
  5. Add the rosemary and sage, garlic, and the carrots. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add wine and stock and continue to simmer until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  7. Crush the tomatoes in a bowl with a fork or back of a spoon, then add them and their juices to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then put everything in a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on HIGH or at least 8 hours on LOW. Alternately,you could also cover and place in a 275-degree oven for 3 to 4 hours. The longer it cooks the more tender it will be.
  8. Taste and season if necessary with additional salt and pepper.
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