My favourite meat of all time is lamb. Having said that, it’s come as a bit of a surprise to me that this is my first lamb dish on here. WHAT. I don’t know how that happened.

I made this ragout for Father’s Day a few days ago and had to share this recipe. It’s one of those dishes that looks impressive when you set it out on the table in all its unctuous, succulent glory, but actually, it involves very little effort – some chopping, stirring, nothing too demanding. But then again, those are the only kinds of dishes you’ll ever have me attempt/see on here anyway. I used a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking process and would recommend you do the same but alternatively, a heavy-bottomed pot would work just as well too (with some extra patience if you can summon it. I never can).

  This ragout is great, but let me just say something about the cauliflower mash here. At the risk of it being slightly controversial, I’m going to say that I prefer cauliflower mash to mashed potato now! Unlike the conventional mashed potato which upon a few extra ‘mashes’ gets gummy and elastic (because of its starch content), this cauliflower mash only gets creamier the more you blend it. So essentially, you want to overwork it. Isn’t that great? Please, please try it.

 

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LAMB RAGOUT WITH CAULIFLOWER MASH
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
For the ragout:
  • 500 grams boneless lamb (cut into 5cm chunks)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 large tomatoes, finely chopped (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock (or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of hot water)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional but recommended)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
For the mash:
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 750 grams)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 25 grams butter
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
Servings
3-4
Ingredients
For the ragout:
  • 500 grams boneless lamb (cut into 5cm chunks)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 large tomatoes, finely chopped (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock (or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of hot water)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional but recommended)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
For the mash:
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 750 grams)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 25 grams butter
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
For the ragout:
  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (or pressure cooker) and brown the lamb pieces on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add onions, celery and garlic to the same pot and sauté for 7-10 minutes until nicely browned. Pour the wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, stock and chilli flakes. Season with salt and lots of black pepper. Return the lamb to the pot and stir well. Cover with a lid and cook on a low-flame for 1-11/2 hours, stirring occasionally, and checking a few times in between to make sure it’s not catching at the bottom. (Alternatively, pressure cook the lamb for 15-25 minutes until cooked).
  3. Once the lamb is completely cooked, you should be able to flake it with a fork. Set aside to cool slightly. Remove the pieces of lamb from the pot and transfer to a bowl. Using your fingers, coarsely shred the lamb. Return to the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low flame until you get the right consistency. Add a little stock or water if it appears a little dry. At this stage, the lamb ragout can be refrigerated (it tastes better when it’s had a little time to sit). Gently reheat before serving.
For the mash:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and then into small pieces. Plunge the cauliflower into boiling water and cook until completely tender. Strain in a colander and add to a blender jar.
  2. Blend until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides as you go along. Add milk and butter and blend again until creamy. Season with nutmeg, salt and black pepper.

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