Lamb Ragù

Sunday, 17 August 2014

After months with scarcely a blog post two have come along in close proximity, much like buses apparently.  While I’m here twiddling my thumbs and trying to be patient I thought I’d share my ragù recipe with you.  According to Nigella, ragout is French and ragù is Italian.  I tend to think of this version as the latter.  I have no doubt it’s far from the traditional recipe but it’s one that has evolved for me over the years and I like it just the way it is, simple and easy to throw together.  Partly because I like to buy organic meat which is expensive I tend to add lentils as this means I can use less meat to make the pennies and the meal stretch a little further.  Lentils also add a good fibre element.  I cook them in the sauce along with everything else for a long time and you can barely notice they are there if hiding lentils is your thing.

Serves 2, easily doubled
The measurements here are approximate.  I tend not to measure anything but just throw it in ad hoc.
200g lamb mince (I like to use organic lamb mince)
30g (two handfuls) Lentils (either du puy, brown or green), rinsed
Extra virgin olive oil, about 1 ½ tablespoons
1 small onion or large shallot finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 carrots peeled and sliced
½ a large fennel bulb, fronds removed, diced
1 generous teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon tomato puree
400ml Passata
Water as necessary

In a non stick pan brown the lamb mince in a dash of extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
In a sauté pan fry the onion in extra virgin olive oil until translucent.  Add the carrots and fennel and continue to cook over a low heat until the vegetables begin to soften.  Next add the garlic and the rosemary.  Add the browned lamb mince to the pan and then add the tomato puree.  Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the passata and a little water.  Finally add the lentils and give everything a good stir.  Leave to simmer for 1 ½ hours and add water if the mixture begins to look a little dry.  Serve over your favourite pasta with grated cheese on top.


  1. Hooray, lamb! This ragu sounds so homey and comforting. I love the idea of adding fennel too -- especially since I usually have no idea what to do with fennel! :)

    1. Thanks Eileen, I'm a bit mad on fennel, I add it to everything. :)