Lamb, Main Dishes, Recipes

Cold Weather Recipe: Lamb Ragu over Polenta

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When I started my gluten-free adventure, I was mostly fearful of loosing two things–pasta and sourdough bread. I know I can make both on my own, I just haven’t had the time or courage to try yet. When I came across Brooklyn Supper’s Lamb Ragu over Polenta, I never thought it could fill that big pasta hole in my stomach, but the recipe looked so good, I had to at least try.

I was amazed to find that I didn’t miss the pasta one bit. One of my favorite fall activities is bubbling away a giant pot of ragu to freeze for months to come. Defrosting that sauce onto a bowl of fresh pasta is like nothing else. But this dish worked. The creaminess of the polenta served as a perfect base for the rich lamb sauce and the addition of wilted greens was absolutely genius! It added a bit of crunch and butter to help marry the outer two layers.

This recipe is perfect for today. New York’s blizzard of the year never showed up, but for many of us, it turned into a day home from work with minimal shoveling and the occasional email check. Being trapped at home unexpectedly is often a blessing and the perfect day to let a pot simmer on your stove for hours. You weren’t expecting the day, so there’s nothing planned. . There’s nothing planned. And taking 20 minutes to set up a pot to then simmer all day long will not take away from your all-day Netflix bingeing.

Given, you might not have lamb stew meat at home. But maybe some chunk beef, pork or even short ribs? I love the lamb flavor but other meats can work. This recipe is perfect to keep your house smelling yummy, your kitchen warm and your belly full at the end of the day.

Lamb Ragù Over Polenta (Adapted from Brooklyn Supper)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 lb lamb stew meat, trimmed
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (I used a Cabernet Franc)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
In a medium Dutch oven, heat oil over high heat. While it’s heating up, salt the lamb, add pepper to taste and sauté until evenly browned. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Turn the heat to medium and add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pan. Stir several times until the onion begins to become translucent, about five minutes.

Return the lamb to the pan, add the water, wine, vinegar, bay leaves, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then turn to low, cover, and simmer for 5 hours. Remove cover and continue to cook on low heat for another 30 to 45 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

Serve over creamy polenta with wilted greens, and a sprinkle of shredded Pecorino Romano.

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