Lamb and Pork Ragù

If you're looking for the perfect comfort food, try this lamb and pork ragù. Fresh herbs and a garnish of arugula add a lively touch to this rich dish.
Photo by Dominic Episcopo

Adapted from Jason Vincent, chef/owner, Giant, Chicago

Jason Vincent, the chef/owner of one of Chicago’s hottest recent openings, Giant, serves what he describes as “simple, delicious, slightly cheffy” food. Chinese, Mexican and Italian touches feel all the more Chicagoan. Vincent serves this comforting ragù with house-made gnocchi. Feel free to use store-bought gnocchi or your favorite pasta.

How Different Cooking Methods Change the Taste of Food
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds bone-in lamb neck or shank, halved
  • 1 pound boneless pork collar or shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Shredded arugula, for garnish
Directions

Season meat liberally with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 300˚F. Warm oil in heavy, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add meat in single layer; cook in batches if necessary. Brown very well on all sides. Transfer to plate.

Add onion, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt to pot. Cook until vegetables start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add herbs to mixture. Crush tomatoes by hand and add to pot. Cook for 5 minutes. Add meat and chicken stock. The liquid should just cover meat. Add water, if necessary.

Cover pot and place in oven. Cook until meat becomes fork tender, about 3 hours. Skim fat from top of pot. Remove meat and set aside. Over medium-high heat, cook liquid until reduced by about one quarter. When meat is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones. Shred or chop it, and stir into pot. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle ragù over gnocchi or pasta. Top with handful (¼ cup to ½ cup) shredded arugula. Serves 6.

Pair It

Eric Texier 2014 Chat Fou (Côtes du Rhône)“This vintage is Eric’s expression of a fresh, light style of Côtes-du-Rhône,” says Josh Perlman, wine director at Giant. “[It] shows off its red berry fruit and plum skin with subtle notes of clove, cinnamon and baking spice. The midpalate reveals structure, while the finish offers an acidic tartness, setting the taste buds up for the next bite of delicious ragù.”

Published on September 9, 2017
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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