This slow-cooked lamb ragu dish can be cooked on the stove, in a slow cooker or even in the oven. So what’s the best part? These types of meals taste even better during cold days!
The ragu was prepared in a large quantity, therefore to make it easier, I have broken it down to a smaller serving for around 8 to 10 people. I then added cooked pasta to the ragu after the slow-cooking process and was ready to be served.
Finally, it is topped with herbed breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and baked in the oven. For the pasta, you can choose whatever you feel appropriate, perhaps a penne or shell pasta. I chose gnocchi because I have a severe addiction/obsession with this soft-pillowy-shaped pasta, plus I like the way it absorbs the sauce from the ragu.
So if you have time to make some gnocchi from scratch, believe me, it’s well worth it! The flavours and texture in this slow-cooked lamb ragu will indeed be worth your while.
Aromatic Slow-Cooked Lamb Ragu Baked With Pasta and Herbed Crust
- 1/1 kilogram ground lamb (minced lamb) - fat trimmed
- 2 medium red pepper (red capsicum) - diced
- 2 medium yellow bell peppers (yellow capsicum) - diced
- 3 cloves garlic - chopped
- 2 medium green chilis (green chilli in British English) - chopped
- 375 ml white wine
- 1 bouquet thyme - rosemary and oregano
- 1200 grams tomatoes - canned
- 250 ml chicken stock (chicken broth or chicken bouillon)
- 1 handful black olives - cut in half
- 1 handful basil - torn
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Firstly cook all your meat by browning it slightly in a large pot/pan on high heat. Seal in batches, then remove from the pan (make sure you don’t add too much meat at once, you don’t want to stew the meat).
- In the same pan, add your onion and capsicum and sauté slightly until the onion becomes translucent. Add your chopped garlic and chilli, then return meat and cook for a few minutes letting the flavours marry together.
- Next, add your white wine and bouquet garni. Let the wine reduce by half. Next, add your tinned tomatoes and your stock, enough to cover the meat. Allow the ragu to simmer on low heat for 2 to 3 hours until the sauce thickens.
- You may need to add more stock or another can of tinned tomatoes during cooking if it reduces down too much before the meat is fully cooked. Halfway through your cooking time, add your sugar, olives and basil, check to season.
- Finally, once the ragu is cooked to liking, recheck the seasoning and adjust to taste.
- Serve ragu with gnocchi or any pasta of your choice. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water until pasta is al dente. Strain, then add to your ragu once you are ready to serve. Place a serving in each bowl topped with grated parmesan cheese and herbed breadcrumbs.
- Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and herbed crumbs have formed a nice crunchy top for around 8 to 10 minutes.
- If you would prefer to cook the ragu in the slow cooker, I’d recommend following the same process but adding dried herbs instead of fresh ( a teaspoon of each); you will need to cook the ragu on low heat for around 8 hours.
- If cooking in the oven, follow the same process, bring your sauce to a simmer on the stovetop, cover the ragu and place in the oven at 180 degrees for 3 to 4 hours, checking the liquid halfway.
- Remove once the meat is tender and falling apart. You may find you need to reduce the liquid slightly at the end. If so, place the ragu in a pan on medium/high heat and lower on the stovetop until desired consistency is reached.
Herbed Breadcrumbs Instructions
- Use a 1-day old sourdough loaf. Tear loaf up using both the crust and bread, place on an oven tray. Season with salt, olive oil and a pinch of pepper.
- Bake in the oven on 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Check if the bread is crisp, you may need to cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes intervals until the bread is dried out like croutons. Then roughly chop fresh mint, parsley and basil.
- Place the breadcrumbs, chopped herbs and 1 cup of powdered parmesan cheese in a blender or food processer, blend until well combined. Place the herb breadcrumbs on a tray and let dry out on the benchtop for an additional hour or so. Store in an airtight container.