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Slowly Braised Lamb Ragu with Wente Vineyards Harmony

Prep Time - 15 minutes | Time To Make - 3 hours

Experience the rich flavors of succulent lamb, simmered with aromatic vegetables and herbs, creating a dish of unparalleled depth. Enjoy this with a glass of Wente Vineyards Wine for a culinary journey filled with a depth of flavors.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds lamb should, trimmed into 1 inch pieces (option to use ground lamb if easier to find)
2 medium carrots – finely diced
1 stalk of celery – finely diced
1 medium yellow – finely diced
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6-10 basil leaves thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup low-sodium beef stock
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted if possible)
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
16-24 ounces pasta (pappardelle, bucatini, rigatoni, etc- fresh if you can find it)
1/4-1/3 cup grated parmesan – to taste
1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream – to taste (the sauce should have a slightly pink color)
Additional parmesan and finely chopped herbs (parsley, basil) for serving.


Brown lamb shoulder: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to heavy-bottomed pot (Dutch oven if possible). Use paper towels to pat the lamb pieces as dry as possible. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the seasoned lamb to the Dutch oven and cook until deeply browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pot. Transfer the lamb to a plate and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cook the aromatics: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Once the oil is hot, add onion, carrot, and celery, seasoning with 1 teaspoon kosher/sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened and deeply browned. Don’t rush this part – let the aromatics do their thing! Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, stirring to coat vegetables, and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Deglaze: Slowly pour the red wine into the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Let the red wine reduce by half, pour in beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Add lamb back to pot and bring everything to a simmer.
Braise: Cover the Dutch oven/pot and place it in the oven to braise for 2-2/12 hours. When it’s ready, the lamb should shred very easily (unless you used ground lamb, which won’t need to shred). Remove the herbs, shred the lamb, and stir to combine.
Begin preparing your pasta. Before draining the pasta, set one cup of the water used to cook the pasta in a bowl and keep.
Add the drained pasta to the sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta water, a tablespoon at a time. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to incorporate.