A warm, hearty dinner that is sure to hit the spot!
I’ve taken several overseas trips in the past few years, one of which was to Iceland. The food there was unexpected and delicious! One of the biggest surprises to me was the lamb. Icelanders pride themselves on having some of the best lamb in the world. The sheep live on grass and are never exposed to antibiotics. And I’m not a major hot dog fan, but Bæjarins Beztu lamb hot dogs are practically worth the visit to Reykjavík alone.
Here’s some info I pulled from Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America:
“The Icelandic sheep is one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds of sheep. Throughout its 1100 years of history, the Icelandic breed has been truly triple-purpose, treasured for its meat, fiber and milk. “
“The meat is indeed very tender with a mild flavor, and is generally described as gourmet meat. Icelandic lamb can appeal to the palate of even those consumers who avow they ‘just don’t like lamb.'”
Needless to say, I was excited when I found some at Whole Foods and knew I wanted to make a ragu. You can substitute ground beef instead of lamb, if you prefer.
Lamb Ragu with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tsp red pepper flakes
- 28 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 5 sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- a handful of basil, sliced, about 1/4 cup
- Lots of salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and some salt and cook until translucent. Add the red pepper, celery and carrots, and saute for 10 minutes until the carrots are soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms and give a stir, then add the lamb. Break up the lamb while stirring, and continue to cook until it's no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the milk, stirring until the milk has evaporated. Drain the fire-roasted tomatoes (it's fine if a bit of liquid remains, but drain the majority of it) and add them to the pot. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
- The longer this simmers, the more the flavors will come together. But it tastes perfectly good if you let it cook for an extra 15 minutes from this point forward while preparing some pasta. Just before serving, add the sliced basil and some shaved or grated parmigiano reggiano.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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