Lamb Ragu

The image on the left is a plate of lamb ragu on an outdoor table setting, on the right are the ingredients used. @intothesauce, Into the Sauce, Tori Falzon, #intothesauce
My ultimate Lamb Ragu with Mint Pangratatto. My husband has been saying this is his death row meal for the last two weeks. So excited to share with you!


  • 2 + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 800g diced lamb shoulder
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 anchovies (optional, but encouraged, you won't know they're there)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (Mutti double concentrate)
  • 450ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g tins whole tomatoes
  • 1L beef stock
  • 1 Parmesan rind (Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 3 sprigs oregano or marjoram
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cooking twine (optional, to tie herbs together)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pasta, to serve (I recommend pappardelle, fusilli, rigatoni or casarecce)
  • Chopped mint leaves, to serve

For the mint Pangratatto

  • 80g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 30g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped mint


  1. If you’ve purchased a whole lamb shoulder, remove the shoulder and leg bones. Do this with your sharpest knife. The leg bone is the round bone at one end, and can be removed by cutting around the bone, very closely, to release the meat from the bone. To remove the bone from the shoulder, slice along the full length of the shoulder and cut along the bone to release the meat, slowly exposing the bone. Once you have located the joint, you can slice it apart, or, holding each bone, twist to pull apart. Slice into 5cm wide lengths, trim off any fat, and then cut to make 5cm cubes.
  2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Fry off lamb shoulder pieces (pre seasoned with salt and pepper) on at least two sides, until golden and caramelised (about 2 mins each side).
  4. Remove lamb pieces to a bowl.
  5. Roughly chop onion, celery and carrot.
  6. Process onion, celery, carrot and garlic in a food processor until very finely chopped (or, if you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop them with a knife).
  7. Back to the large pan on medium-low heat, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic.
  8. Season well with salt and cracked black pepper and cook until beginning to lightly brown (5-10 mins).
  9. Add anchovies and chilli flakes and cook for a couple of minutes to melt the anchovies.
  10. Add tomato paste and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the colour deepens.
  11. Add back lamb and red wine and reduce until ⅓ of liquid remains.
  12. Optional: Use cooking twine to tie the herbs together, to make it easier to remove and discard the stems at the end.
  13. Reduce heat to low, and add whole tomatoes (crushed between your hands as you add them), lamb bones, Parmesan rind, herbs, bay leaves and beef stock.
  14. Simmer for 5-6 hours with lid ajar, until meat is very tender.
  15. For the mint pangratatto, heat olive oil in a pan and toss through panko, mint and a pinch of salt flakes, stirring often, until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and stir through Parmesan, season with salt flakes and set aside.
  16. Use a slotted spoon or a large spoon to remove meat to a bowl.
  17. Discard bone, Parmesan rind, herbs and bay leaves.
  18. Turn the heat up to medium and reduce ragu liquid until glossy and thickened. You want it at a consistency which isn’t going to be watery when you add the pasta.
  19. Add back lamb to ragu, using a wooden spoon to shred the pieces up a little if you prefer.
  20. Stir through red wine vinegar. Taste and season.
  21. Meanwhile, cook pasta until very al dente in salty water.
  22. Strain pasta and add back to pot, spoon in ragu and a knob of butter and continue to cook pasta in the sauce, until al dente.
  23. To serve, spoon ragu into bowls or a serving bowl, and top with pangratatto, Parmesan and extra chopped mint.

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