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Red Wine-Braised Lamb Ragout with Creamy Polenta and Salsa Verde

(recipe, Kim Carlson)


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Introduction

The ragout is best when cooked the day before you plan to serve it.

Ingredients

    Ragout
    1. 4 Tbsp. olive oil
    2. 1 lb. lamb shoulder, trimmed and diced
    3. 2 cups rich lamb stock or chicken stock
    4. 1 carrot, peeled and diced
    5. 1 small fennel bulb, diced
    6. 2 shallots, peeled and diced
    7. 2 tsp. tomato paste
    8. 1 bay leaf
    9. 2 tsp. thyme leaves, chopped
    10. 1 small piece orange peel
    11. 1 cup full-bodied red wine
    12. Salt and pepper to taste
    Salsa verde
    1. 1 anchovy fillet, minced
    2. 1 clove garlic, minced
    3. 1 cup parsley, chopped
    4. 1 Tbsp. capers, chopped
    5. 1 tsp. salt
    6. ½ cup olive oil
    7. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
    Polenta
    1. 3 cups chicken stock
    2. Salt to taste
    3. ¾ cup coarse polenta
    4. 2 Tbsp. mascarpone
    5. 1 Tbsp. butter
    6. 1 Tbsp. olive oil
    7. 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

    Steps

    1. Make the ragout: In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the lamb generously with salt and black pepper. Brown the lamb in small batches over medium-high heat. Once all the meat is browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
    2. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    3. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the diced vegetables. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, and orange peel. Pour in the wine and reduce until it glazes the vegetables. Add the reserved lamb and pour the hot stock over.
    4. Cover and cook in the oven until fork-tender, 2 hours or longer.
    5. Allow the ragout to rest, preferably overnight or at least 2 hours. To serve, coarsely shred the meat with a fork, rewarm, and season as needed.
    6. Make the salsa verde: An hour before serving the ragout, combine all the salsa verde ingredients and let macerate for at least 30 minutes.
    7. Make the polenta: While the salsa verde is macerating, make the polenta. Bring the stock to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add salt to taste, then pour in the polenta while whisking quickly to avoid clumps. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste.
    8. Assemble the dish: Place a portion of polenta on a plate, ladle a serving of ragout on top, and garnish with the salsa verde.