Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

Lamb Ragù

You can make this sauce with either red or white wine; I like to use red during the colder months for a heartier flavor. The Abruzzesi love adding chile pepper-fresh, dried, or preserved in oil-to their ragùs, and some is always set out for passing at the table. This ragù is traditionally served with maccheroni alia chitarra, a square-cut noodle similar to thick spaghetti; either pasta will work here.

Yields about 1½ quarts, enough for about 1½ lb. pasta; serves 6 to 8

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

2 lb. boneless lamb shoulder or leg of lamb, cut into 6 or 8 pieces

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, lightly crushed

1 Tbs. minced fresh herbs, such as rosemary and sage

½ cup dry red or white wine, such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Orvieto

6 cups canned diced tomatoes, with their juice

Minced fresh hot chile or crushed red pepper flakes, for serving

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season the lamb on both sides with salt and pepper and sear the meat on one side until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn and sear the other side until browned, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the lamb to a deep platter.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and herbs. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Return the lamb and its juice to the pot, raise the heat to medium high, and pour in the wine. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and then add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low or low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover partially and let the sauce simmer until the lamb is fork-tender, about 2½ hours. Using tongs, transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, if the sauce seems thin, let it continue simmering until thickened to a saucy consistency. If it seems too thick, add a splash of water.

Shred the lamb with two forks and return it to the pot. Simmer gently until the meat is heated through. Season to taste with salt. Serve with cooked pasta and grated cheese, if you like, with minced chiles or chile flakes on the side.

The ragù can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


It is a quote. Fine Cooking Magazine October / November 2011

No Comments
Leave a Comment