I jinxed it! I totally jinxed it! I was going to go the entire year without it happening, and…well…I jinxed it! I was nearly 98% of the way through 2015 – 98% (!) – and then I had to go and open my big fat mouth and jinx it.
“I’m surprised I’ve almost made it through the entire year and I haven’t even cut myself once.”
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Now sadly, I wasn’t even cutting when it happened! I was scooping up some stupid onions to put in the stupid Dutch oven, and I decided to use the stupid knife to help pick them up. What a genius, am I right?
Now I know it’s my own fault – none of the “stupid” inanimate objects listed above are actually stupid…it’s just frustrating being so close to perfection, and then losing it at the last second.
Oh well. In addition to the cut being quite minor – I’ve cut myself worse playing ping pong – it was absolutely worth it for this meal. Simmering away for over 3 hours, this Lamb Ragu is an absolute treat. Though I rarely ever splurge on lamb, a little thing called “the best before date is tomorrow, so let’s slap a big discount on them and hope they move” meant I got to cook a cut of meat I usually dream about but can’t justify purchasing.
As I’d originally intended to make a beef ragu (before finding lamb to be the cheaper option for once), I borrowed inspiration for this recipe from Pinch of Yum and her Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu with Polenta. Obviously my recipe is quite far removed from Pinch of Yum’s, but most of the main flavours are the same and I always like to give credit where it’s due, even if I adapt nearly everything on the ingredients list, including the protein.
Anyways, I highly recommend knocking out this recipe if you get a chance – it’s a good one.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 lamb leg steaks (1.5 lbs total)
- 28 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced and halved
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2/3 cup red wine, preferably dry
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 tsp. sea salt, plus extra to taste
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
- up to 1 tbsp. brown, to taste
- cooked tubed pasta, such as penne, for serving
- Place a Dutch oven over medium heat, add in the oil, and allow it to heat up for about a minute. Toss in the lamb and brown both sides. You may need to cover the Dutch oven during this process, as it may splatter a bit.
- Toss in the tomatoes (with all the juices), onion, garlic, tomato paste, red wine, oregano, bay leafs, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, and flipping the lamb if it’s thick enough to stick out of the sauce. After this time, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 45 minutes.
- In the last 15 minutes of cooking, take two wooden spoons and shred the lamb. Be sure to taste the ragu at this point. Add brown sugar, a teaspoon at a time, to taste. You’re not looking to sweeten the ragu much, but rather to cut down the acidity. 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) should do the trick, but add a bit more or less to personal preference.
- If the sauce has reduced to your preferred consistency once the cooking time is up, remove from heat. If not, continue cooking slightly longer until it reaches that point.
- At this time, remove the bay leafs and season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Serve with penne or other tubed pasta. Goes well portioned over top of the pasta, or mixed in.
**** (Updated 1/8/16)****
I’ve added this dish to the collection of other recipes (well, mainly recipes) shared over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday. This week (week 101!) her co-hosts are Jhuls and Mr. Fritz. Jhuls recently made puff pastry FROM SCRATCH (I NEVER use this phrase as it doesn’t really fit my personality, but “mad respect” to her for that). Actually, Mr. Fritz also did his own sort of “Ruff Puff” pastry recently including pig fat. If you get a chance, be sure to check out their blogs, and peruse some of the other exciting and tasty eats over at the fiesta as well.