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Slow-cooked lamb Ragu

I had this dish one Winter night in Sydney, wrapped up with a glass of red wine - and I've been obsessed with it ever since! It requires minimal effort, the slow-cooker does all the magic for you and after 8 hours of simmering the lamb is buttery soft. Serve with pappardelle (my favourite) and Parmesan or use leftovers on jacket potatoes or as a base for Shepherd's pie.

Time to prepare: 15 minutes

Total time to make : 8 hrs

Serves : 8


4 tbsp olive oil

1.2kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 3 or 4 chunks

1 onion, finely diced 2 carrots, finely diced 3 celery sticks, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato purée

375 ml (1⁄2 bottle) red wine

250ml beef stock

400g tin chopped tomatoes

6–8 sprigs of fresh rosemary, tied with twine (optional, but easier to remove)

Salt and freshly ground black Fresh basil and shaved Parmesan, to serve

125g fresh pappardelle pasta (or 90g dried) per person


  1. Set your slow cooker to low and heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat.

  2. Use kitchen paper to pat the lamb dry of excess moisture, then season with salt. In batches, if necessary seal the lamb for 2 - 3 minutes each side until browned all over, then transfer to the slow cooker.

  3. Using the same saucepan, lower the heat to medium and add the remaining oil. Sauté the onion, carrots and celery with a good pinch of salt for about 10 minutes until softened and beginning to caramelise. Add the garlic and tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes.

  4. Deglaze the pan by pouring in the wine and simmering over a medium heat until reduced by half. Transfer to the slow cooker over the lamb, then add the stock and chopped tomatoes, along with the rosemary.

  5. Cook on low for about 8 hours. The meat should fall apart very easily. Turn off, shred the meat with 2 forks and leave to absorb the flavours for at least 15 minutes while you cook the pasta. Season to taste.

  6. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than recommended on the packet. Drain, reserving about 4 tablespoons of the water for each dish you’ll be serving.

  7. Return the pasta to the pan with the reserved water, then mix in the lamb and sauce. Serve with with basil, Parmesan and black pepper.

Nutritional Information

(per large serving)

574 calories

43g protein, 9g carbs, 37g fat

Good to know:

  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

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