Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu
For me, this is soul food. Maybe even the epitome of a winter warmer! Slow cooked lamb that falls apart into the smooth polenta. What dreams are made of!
2kg (4lbs) lamb shoulder
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, sliced
2 sticks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 can crushed tomatoes
200gm field mushroom, diced
200mls red wine
1 600gm (24oz) jar tomato passata
300-500mls chicken stock
2-4 tsp FTF Italian herb mix
2 stems fresh oregano
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 cups stock, chicken or veg
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups polenta/cornmeal
1 tbsp butter
½ cup aged cheddar/parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste
First off, This can be made in In the oven, on the stove, in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
The MOST important step is ensuring that the meat is seared, and vegetables browned slightly before transferring to your preferred method. This ensures optimal depth of flavour in your final product.
Place a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp oil and sear the meat to its nice and brown all over them remove and place on a plate while you prepare the other ingredients.
Dice the onions and add to the pan with a little more oil and gently brown, then add the garlic.
Add carrots, mushrooms and celery to the pan and saute, deglaze the pan with the wine and add the stock, tinned tomatoes and passata.
Add in the fresh herbs, seasoning mix and salt & pepper.
Place the lamb back in, try and cover the lamb but its not important add a little more water if needed (it will take longer to reduce).
Choose your Cooking Method
1. Leave on the stove, cover and simmer for 3-5 hrs, until lamb pulls apart with a fork or spoon.
2. Place in oven for 5 hours, stirring every hour and turning the meat and making sure there is enough liquid you don’t want it to dry out (add more water if you need to) after 4 hours check to see if the meat is tender it may be ready in less time depending on the size of your meat.
3. Transfer to slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours on slow until lamb pulls apart with a fork or spoon.
4. Transfer to pressure cooker, cook on high for 45 minutes. Be patient and de-pressure itself.
You can serve the meat whole and shred at the table or shred it and put it back in the oven or on the stove for a little longer (30mins). I prefer to continue the cooker for the last few minutes without the lid to reduce and thicken the sauce.
Make the polenta
In a large saucepan, bring stock and milk to a low boil. Then whisk in polenta/cornmeal until smooth. Turn heat down to medium and cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently until smooth and no longer gritty.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese and season well with salt & pepper.
Bring It Together
Gather your bowls. Place spoonfuls of polenta then top with hot ragu. Sprinkle chopped parsley. Enjoy!
If you don't like polenta, serve with pasta.