This is a perfect Sunday lunch or dinner recipe that slow cooks in the oven to create a rich and delicious pasta sauce. Serve it with a simple green salad, or crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
- 4 large lamb shanks
- 3 cups of red wine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Sprig of rosemary
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 x 400g tins of whole tomatoes
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of frozen or fresh peas
- 1 x 500g packet of dried pasta of your choice – fettucine works well with this sauce, or use penne like we have done.
- Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese to serve.
- Preheat your oven to 180°c (or 160°c fan forced).
- Heat the oil in a large heavy oven-proof pot (big enough to hold all your lamb shanks) at a medium to high heat – a dutch oven with a lid is ideal.
- Brown the lamb shanks on all sides – you may need to do this in batches.
- Pour the wine over the lamb shanks, then the tomatoes and chicken stock.
- Add the garlic, tomato paste, rosemary to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer, then place the pot, with a lid on (or cover tightly with two layers of tin foil) in the oven.
- Cook for 3 hours in the oven, or until the lamb shank meat starts to fall off the bone.
- Remove pot from oven, take out lamb shanks and strip the meat from the bones. Keep the meat aside (cover with tin foil to keep warm) for later and discard the bones.
- Put the pot with your sauce on the stovetop, and simmer gently, uncovered over medium to low heat, until it is reduced (about 20 minutes) so you have a thick sauce.
- While your sauce is reducing, boil a large saucepan of salted water and cook your pasta as per the packet instructions.
- Return the lamb shank meat to the sauce, and add a cup of fresh or frozen peas. Heat through for 1 – 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the sauce with your cooked pasta, give it a dusting of freshly grated cheese, and serve immediately.
Don’t be afraid of the amount of wine in this recipe – it cooks down slowly to create a beautifully rich flavour. Likewise the omission of the usual celery/carrot/onion mix – this ragu is all about getting maximum flavour by slowly cooking the shank bone in the sauce. If you’d like to substitute the wine, use extra chicken stock, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and a dash of red wine vinegar instead.