Braised Lamb Ragu from Nick Deutmeyer

Here’s a hearty dish to brighten up your mid-winter rotation (especially since February just so happens to be Lamb Lovers Month): braised lamb ragu, courtesy of chef Nick Deutmeyer at Harvard Square icon, Harvest. The rich and satisfying tomato sauce is loaded with herbs and veggies and (of course) braised lamb. Enjoy it over fresh pappardelle with a dose of Parmesan cheese.


Servings: 4


  • 2 lamb necks
  • 1 pint red wine
  • 3 onions, large diced
  • 2 carrots, large diced
  • 2 spears celery, large diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 gallon beef stock
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon onion salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 1 pound fresh pappardelle


  1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Season lamb necks with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat with blended oil until hot. Add the lamb necks and sear both sides. Deglaze the pan with red wine.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, 3 sprigs thyme, bay leaves and tomato paste. Cover with beef stock and wrap with aluminum foil. Braise in the oven for four hours, or until the lamb is fork tender.
  3. Allow the meat to cool in the braising liquid, then remove and hand-pull the meat from the bones (discard the bones). Food-mill the veggies and braising liquid into a sauce pot and add the diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the remaining 3 sprigs thyme, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire, Tabasco, onion salt, brown sugar, garlic salt, cayenne and paprika. Stir to combine. Add the pulled lamb meat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. While the ragu cooks, bring a separate pot of salted water to boil. Blanch the pappardelle for two minutes and add the par-cooked pasta to the ragu to finish cooking. Fold in a spoonful of cold butter and serve the pasta topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

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