Lamb Ragù with Herbed Dumplings


Lamb Ragù with Herbed Dumplings


This is a simple and hearty dish that can be made with ease on even the coldest of nights.  It is also a great alternative to traditional stews and roasts.


1kg piece of roasting lamb leg or shoulder, bone removed


2 Spanish onions, finely chopped


3 cloves garlic, crushed


1 carrot, cut into 4 pieces


1 celery stick, cut into 4 pieces


3 tablespoons tomato paste


1 ½ cups good full-bodied red wine


1 teaspoon paprika


½ teaspoon black pepper


2 anchovies


3 bay leaves


5 sage leaves


1 tablespoon rosemary, very finely chopped




1 cups beef stock


For the dumplings:

1 ½ cups self raising flour

 2 tablespoons butter

 1 tablespoon each fresh parsley, thyme, mint, finely chopped

 Pinch of cayenne pepper

 Pinch of salt

 ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

 ½ cup water

In a large saucepan, melt a little butter with the anchovies and some olive oil over a medium heat.  Add the spices, herbs, onion and garlic and allow to cook until transparent.

Cut the lamb into quarters, but do not dice or cut too small.  Sauté the lamb with the onions and herbs, gently browning each side.  Add the tomato paste and wine and reduce the heat.  Add the carrot and celery then add the stock and bay leaves and cover.  Leave to cook for 1 hour – 1 ½ hours.

Once the lamb is well cooked, remove the bay leaves, carrot and celery pieces and discard.

Take the pieces of lamb out of the pot and 'fork' the meat into long soft strands.  Return the meat to the pot and stir into the sauce.

To make the dumplings: Rub the butter and parmesan into the flour with the salt and pepper until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Add the herbs and enough water to form a robust dough.

Form into walnut-sized balls and float the dumplings on top of the lamb ragù and cover with a lid – they will gently poach and puff up until they are almost doubled in size.  Do not roll them over or they will be coated with the ragù and less appealing.

Serve with peas, beans and good red wine.