Lamb Cheek Ragu Abruzzese
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Credit: Costanzo Astarita, Chef, Baraonda, Atlanta
The National Culinary Review, May 2014
½ cup blended olive oil
2 lbs. lamb cheeks or lamb leg (if leg, cut in 2-inch cubes)
1 cup white wine
½ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced carrot
4 T. chopped garlic
1½ cups lamb stock or brown chicken stock
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 T. chopped rosemary
½ t. crushed red pepper
¾ cup white wine vinegar
2 cups crushed Italian plum tomatoes
Method: Put oil in Dutch oven; heat on medium. In small batches, brown meat on all sides. Drain oil; add wine, onion, carrot, garlic, stock, thyme, rosemary, red pepper, vinegar and tomatoes. Cover pan; simmer on low 1¾ hours, or bake at 275ºF about 2 hours. Remove from heat; rest about 30 minutes. Remove lid; skim any fat from top. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve over risotto or toss with fresh pappardelle.
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