Ragout ...ragu - the difference is all in the spelling. Last night's dinner started life as a stew until I realized there was a shortage of meat and a surplus of liquid which meant it was perfect as a pasta sauce. If innovation's the mother of invention, then I have to admit this just may be one of the better ones.
Leg of lamb cut into bite sized pieces and browned then joined by onion, garlic (of course), crushed tomatoes, lots of red wine, sweetened with brown sugar and currents, spiced with cumin and cinnamon and tarted up with orange rind made for a fabulous Greek inspired sauce on our mixed pasta (mixed only because I didn't have enough of one or the other). Dusted with a little grated mozzarella cheese, to be honest I tried really hard to find something wrong with this but couldn't come up with a darn thing. The combination of flavor's absolutely amazing - for heaven's sake don't leave out the orange zest either. It hits the taste buds where the cinnamon stops. It's just incredible!
Get a load of this! I can't come up with anything else to complain about today either. It is a cool and wonderful 62 degrees as I write this - the AC's off, the windows are open, and even the animals are celebrating (Georgie's running laps and Max's watching). That's darn near a 20 degree difference from this time yesterday morning. Ahhhh - are those darn monsoons finally over? We can only hope.
1 pound boneless lamb (leg or shoulder)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high. Cut lamb into bite sized pieces, trimming off any fat and membrane. Dredge in flour and brown well without crowding the pan. Add onions and garlic. Lower heat to medium low, cover pot and cook until onions are soft, stirring from time to time (about 5 minutes). Add tomatoes, red wine, brown sugar, cumin, orange rind, bay leaf, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until meat is very tender. Stir pot occasionally to prevent sticking. Add water or more wine if sauce gets too thick. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Add parsley. Serve over pasta. Makes 6 servings Download Lamb Ragout