Quick Lamb Ragù
With the imminent release of our 2016 Povo Barbera, we thought you’d enjoy a great pairing to go with it. Barbera loves slow-cooked dishes. Here’s a take on a long-cooked lamb ragù reduced to 90 minutes for your busy schedule. We realize that 90 minutes might not be all that quick, but compared with a traditional bolognese sauce that takes all day, well, you get the point. With a pound of pasta, serves 4 people.
Quick Lamb Ragù
1 pound ground lamb
2 stalks celery, in small dice
2 carrots, in small dice
1 medium onion, in small dice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
12 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Coelho Pinot Gris or Chardonnay
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Over high flame, heat a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to make a batch of sauce. Film it with olive oil and place the lamb in the pan, stirring to break it up. For best flavor, cook until all the lamb is well browned, almost crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove lamb to a bowl and return the pan to the heat. Add another film of olive oil and brown any build-up on the bottom of the pan well, just shy of burning. Add the celery, carrot, and onion.
Cook the vegetables, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about two minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and basil. Cook another two minutes. Return the lamb to the pan along with the white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to dissolve any caramelization. Add the tomatoes, the heavy cream, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat until the pan is just bubbling. Stir every 15-20 minutes for an hour. As the sauce reduces, you may need to stir more frequently to keep it from sticking. When the sauce is as thick as you want it, season it to taste.
Serve with your favorite pasta and 2016 Povo Barbera.
Pro Chef Tips
- To control the fat in the ground lamb, we ground a leg ourselves.
- Traditionally, we would use heavy cream in the sauce, but to lighten the fat, we used 2%.
- This ratio of vegetables to meat is fairly high when compared to most classic recipes. Just another way of making the dish a touch more healthy.
- By all means, use fresh tomatoes if you like, but we prefer our fresh tomatoes raw, not in long-cooked sauces like this. We prefer diced tomatoes to sauce or crushed tomatoes. Your mileage may vary.
- Rinse the tomato can with a touch of water, wine, or cream/milk to get all the goodness into the sauce.
- Leave the sprig of rosemary whole: it’s much easier to fish out of the finished sauce.