I Love Lamb Ragu

May 21, 2012 § 5 Comments

There are two kinds of people. Those that love lamb, and those that don’t. I know many people that don’t like it, my brother-in-law for one. But that’s ok, it does have it’s own distinct flavor, kind of game-y in a way.

Now I am a lamb lover, any cut will do. I especially love a marinated-overnight-in-rosemary-garlic-olive oil-leg of lamb. Or thick cut chops grilled and topped with mustard and anchovy butter. I could go on and on here. Lamb lovers tend to do that.

This recipe isn’t either of those though, in this I use ground lamb, another favorite of mine. If you love lamb, try it in any recipe that calls for ground beef. Lamb burgers, lamb meatballs and shepherd’s pie, lamb pizza with caramelized onions and melted cheese, the list goes on.

This lamb ragu is delicious over a plate of pasta, pappardelle is especially good. If you want to avoid gluten, serve it over quinoa or just have a big helping in a bowl. One thing it must have though is some crumbled feta on top. Lots of it. Or if you’re not a fan of feta, sour cream will work but it’s not nearly as good.

And a nice glass of red wine of course. Everyone likes red wine, right?

The Ingredients:

1 TBL olive oil

1 lb ground lamb

1 carrot, shredded

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 lb Swiss chard, ribs removed

handful of mushrooms, I used Cremini, chopped

1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper

crumbled feta

The Steps:

Heat your olive oil over medium heat a few minutes, add lamb and cook until browned. Remove to a bowl. You’ll have some juice from the lamb, leave it in the pan and add chopped onion, carrot, garlic and oregano. Saute gently until onions are soft, about 5 to 6 minutes or so. Make sure not to burn the garlic. Burned garlic will ruin the dish, any dish.

Add the mushrooms, when I say handful, 5 or 6 will do, you could add more of course. Next add the Swiss chard, which you’ve cut up roughly.  Add  back the ground lamb. Stir to combine.

Add the tomatoes, no need to break them up, some will break up as they cook. Bring to boil, then turn heat down to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered for about 40 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. Stir occasionally.

Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. I add about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt. Feta is salty don’t forget.

Then after you’ve plated it, add the crumbled feta on top. This really makes the dish. The salty, creamy feta melts a little into the rich, tomato-y lamb sauce that lamb lovers will adore.

Pour that glass of wine, and Bon Appetit!

Serves 2 to 4

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