Lamb Ragu

Lamb Ragu (adapted from Bon Appetit Nov 1998

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 lamb shanks (each about 3/4 pound)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 pound small button mushrooms, halved
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in purée
  • 1 1/4 pounds rigatoni pasta

Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over high heat. Sprinkle lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Add to pot and brown on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer lamb shanks to platter. Add onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary and crushed red pepper to pot and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Return lamb to pot. Add wine and boil until liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Add 3 cups beef stock and tomatoes to pot; return to boil.

Cover pot, transfer to oven and bake until lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Using tongs, transfer lamb to large bowl. Cool 10 minutes. Cut meat off bones into generous 1/2-inch pieces (discard bones). Return meat to sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold; cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain well. Transfer pasta to large serving bowl. Spoon sauce over pasta. Serve, passing Parmesan cheese separately.
 
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