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Slow Cooked Lamb Ragù

Slow Cooked Lamb Ragù with Gnocchi & Salsa Verde


A hearty pulled lamb ragù served over pan-fried gnocchi and topped with a zingy salsa verde to cut the richness.

  • Serves: 6 |
    6 servings
  • Rating:

  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 30 mins |
  • Cook Time : 3:0 hours
Categories: Italian, Lamb, Mains, Pasta, Stews
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oil for frying
1.5 kg lamb leg or shoulder, cut into big chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery sticks, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 small leeks, cleaned chopped
50 g tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp (15 ml) dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1½ C (375 ml) red wine
2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomato
1 C (250 ml) beef stock
½ C (125 ml) fresh cream
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sugar
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper

Salsa Verde

½ C (125 ml) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar
zest and juice of a small lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) baby capers, chopped
¼ C (60 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley
¼ C (60 ml) chopped mint
¼ C (60 ml) chopped chives
2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper

To Serve 

500 g store bought gnocchi, boiled according to the packing
olive oil
Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 170 ºC.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb pieces on all sides; do a few pieces at a time so that you don’t crowd the pot. Caramelise the pieces well for maximum flavour.

Set the lamb pieces to one side and add the onion, celery, carrots and leeks to the pot. Saute for 6-8 minutes until the veg has softened and is starting to colour.

Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze, then bring to a boil to cook off the alcohol and reduce by half.

Add the tins of chopped tomato and stock. Bring to a boil and then cover and place the pot into the oven. Cook for 1½ hours covered, then remove the lid and continue cooking for another hour until the sauce has reduced and the meat is starting to pull apart. Add the cream, fish sauce and sugar and simmer on the stove for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

Salsa Verde

Pour the olive oil into a small mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, garlic and capers and whisk to combine. Stir in the chopped herbs and season to taste.

To Serve 

Cook the gnocchi according to the packaging instructions and then drain. Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Heat a glug of olive oil, then add the gnocchi. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side to caramelise the gnocchi, then remove from the heat.

To assemble, serve the ragù on a bed of golden gnocchi. Top with a drizzle of salsa verde and add shavings of Parmesan cheese.