Rich Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle - a tender, slow cooked lamb shank ragu packed with vegetables. Just stir through some pasta for a complete meal!
Winter is here in Australia, so I'm bringing out the lamb shanks and making Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle.
This is a rich, meaty lamb ragu packed with vegetables, so all you need to do is put it with some pappardelle pasta for a complete meal.
This lamb ragu pasta is slow-cooked, which means the meat will be so tender that it will just fall off the bone when you're done. Sound good?
Ingredients you will need to make this lamb ragu
- lamb shanks
- olive oil
- button mushrooms
- a brown onion
- plain/all-purpose flour
- fresh garlic
- dry red wine
- tomato paste
- fresh rosemary leaves
- dried bay leaves
- beef stock
- pappardelle pasta
*Please see the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions
My top tips for cooking lamb ragu with pappardelle
- Make sure you get some good deep colour on your lamb shanks when you brown them. This will give you bags more flavour at the end.
- I have cut the carrots quite large for this recipe, this is so that they mostly stay intact for the 3 hour cooking time. You could cut them smaller/thinner if you like, but just know that they will probably break down a lot by the end of the cooking time - which is fine if that's what you are going for!.
- If you can't find speck, you could substitute streaky bacon.
- The recipe calls for a circle of baking paper (or a "cartouche" in fancy cooking terms) to be placed over the meat as it cooks - this keeps the top of your meat/veg moist as it simmers. You can see my post Mushroom Osso Buco & Cartouche Instructions for more info.
- You will need to be careful when you are taking the shanks out of the sauce once they are cooked. The meat will be VERY soft, and has a tendency to come away from the bones (which is what we want!) BUT bits of lamb can "plop" back into the sauce as you fish the shanks out and splash you with hot sauce! Been there, done that.
- I like to serve this lamb pasta with pappardelle because the wide pasta helps to hold the sauce, but you could serve this with any style of pasta you wish. It would also pair well with mashed potatoes.
Other lamb recipes you might like
Amazing Slow Cooked Pulled Lamb Shoulder - another great recipe for fall-off-the-bone lamb!
Oven Roasted Lamb Ribs - only 6 ingredients needed for these tasty, moist and easy finger-licking lamb ribs!
Lamb Chops Wrapped in Prosciutto - maximum flavour for minimal effort. Tender juicy lamb cutlets brushed with basil pesto then wrapped in prosciutto - yum!
I was cooking this lamb ragu with pappardelle the other night (in order to photograph it the next morning) and my husband Peter got excited as he walked in the door after work. He recognised the smell...he thought he was in for lamb shank ragu for dinner, but no such luck...
Me: "I'm cooking it so I can shoot it tomorrow morning...we're having xyz for dinner tonight"
Peter: *Look of disappointment* "Oh..."
He has such a hard life...at least I know he really likes the recipe though!
Rich Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle
- 4 lamb shanks - trimmed of excess fat approx 450g (16oz) each
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 200 g speck (7oz) chopped
- 300 g button mushrooms (11oz) quartererd
- 2 carrots sliced into 1cm ⅓" half moons
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
- 4 garlic cloves crushed/minced
- 1 ½ cups dry red wine
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves dried
- 4 cups beef stock (warmed in microwave - optional to save time, see my notes)
- 250 g pappardelle pasta (9oz) to serve
- Preheat oven to 160c ff / 320f.
- Heat olive oil (1 tbsp) in a large dutch oven. Fry sliced carrots (2), chopped onion (1) & chopped speck (200g/7oz) over medium heat for 4-5 mins, or until onion starts to soften & speck starts to colour slightly.
- Add mushrooms (300g/11oz) to onion mixture and continue to fry, stirring, for 2 mins then remove everything to a bowl and set aside.
- Allow pot to reheat, meanwhile dust lamb shanks in flour (2 tbsp). Add olive oil (1 tbsp) to pot and fry shanks over medium high heat for 7-9 mins, turning occasionally to brown on all sides well and adding more oil as needed. You should be getting a nice brown layer on the base of your pot - this will add flavour to our sauce.
- Once shanks are browned, remove to a plate.
- Add red wine (1½ cups) to pot to deglaze. Stir tomato paste (1 tbsp), dried rosemary (1 tsp), crushed/minced garlic (4 cloves) & bay leaves (2) into wine and bring to a simmer as you scrape up the flavour layer from the base of the pot. Simmer for about 2 mins or until wine mixture is reduced by about half.
- Return shanks to the pot, along with the reserved veg mixture plus any drippings. Add stock (4 cups) to the pot, mixing slightly to combine. Bring to a simmer - once simmering, cover lamb mixture with a circle of baking paper (see notes) & bake with the lid on for 3 hours or until lamb is tender. The lamb should be falling away from the bones.
- Once lamb is cooked, remove bay leaves & discard. Remove lamb from pot (leaving sauce in the pot) and shred lamb with 2 forks, discarding fat & bones.
- While you are shredding the lamb, place your pot o sauce on the stove top and simmer until the sauce is thickened to your liking. Add shredded lamb to sauce & serve with pappardelle pasta.
- I choose to heat my stock in the microwave purely to save myself some time. This is totally optional.
- The reason I have cut the carrots quite large is so that they mostly stay intact for the 3 hour cooking time. You could cut them smaller/thinner if you like, but just know that they will probably break down a lot by the end of the cooking time - which is fine if that's what you are going for!
- If you can't find speck, you could substitute streaky bacon.
- As for the circle of baking paper, or a "cartouche" in cooking terms - this keeps the top of your meat/veg moist as it simmers. You can see my post Mushroom Osso Buco & Cartouche Instructions for more info.
- Please be careful when you are taking the shanks out of the sauce once they are cooked. The meat will be VERY soft, and has a tendency to come away from the bones (which is what we want!) BUT bits of lamb can "plop" back into the sauce as you fish the shanks out and splash you with hot sauce! Been there, done that.
- I like to serve it with pappardelle pasta, the wide pasta holds the sauce well. You could use another type of pasta if you wish.