If you’re at a loss for what to do with all your leftover Easter lamb, making the most of a delicious joint, then why not try my easy lamb Ragu recipe?
Ragu is an Italian cuisine, a meat based sauce usually served with pasta. Ragu has less tomato sauce than bolognese and more diced elements such as carrots, celery and sometimes pancetta. Its made with wine and beef broth and sometimes a bit of cream or milk to lighten the colour and enrich the flavour.
My recipe is nice and simple and can be prepared in advance so it can be on the table in double-quick time for a weeknight supper.
If you don’t have any leftovers then don’t worry you can ‘create’ some leftovers by quickly frying up a couple of leg steaks. Simply pan fry the lamb leg steaks for 3-4 minutes each side. Rest for 5-10 minutes, then chop into small pieces and continue with the rest of the recipe.
A ragu normally takes about an hour or more gently bubbling away on the stove, but using leftovers means this lamb ragu can be done in less than half an hour perfect for midweek cooking.
If you have lots of lamb leftovers you could make a big batch and freeze some for another day – making an even speedier meal.
Lamb is an excellent source of vitamin B12,omega-3, Iron and potassium.
To keep this recipe as inexpensive as possible I’ve made my own tomato passatta instead of using a shop bought sauce. The fresh herbs are all from the vegetable boxes in my garden which is so much cheaper than buying plastic packets of herbs in supermarkets as well as being more environmentally healthy.
Growing vegetables, fruit and herbs with my children has increased their interest in eating healthily. My daughter is never more excited to eat the food put in front of her than when she has been allowed to help with meal prep.
My rich and comforting ragu sauce is even more delicious the next day for lunch when the sauce has had 24 hours to mature overnight.
Serves: 4 people
Time: 30 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced finely
1 carrot diced finely
1 celery stick diced finely
3 cloves garlic diced finely
600g cooked lamb leftovers chopped into bitesize pieces
1 tin tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
300 ml lamb stock
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper to season
parmesan to serve
2 tbsp cream
- Place the olive oil, onion, carrot and celery in a wide cresset dish or large saucepan and cook over agent heat with a lid on for 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and lamb and cook over a gentle heat with a lid on for a further 2 minutes over a low heat.
- Add the tin of tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar and fresh herbs (pasta sauce), lamb stock and salt and pepper. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer (with no lid) for 15 minutes until the sauce is nicely thickened.
- Cook pasta according to instructions and drain, reserving a little cooking water and serve with parmesan cheese to grate on the top if you wish.
Ragu is a sauce with a depth of flavour that can handle wines with more power and tannin. Match with Brunello di Montalcino, made from Sangiovese in Tuscany, a serious wine with complex flavours of cherry, earthy spices, and mellow oak all of which can bring this dish to life.