Pappardelle with Lamb Shank & Caramelised Onion Ragu

The caramelised onions in this ragu give the perfect amount of sweetness to compliment the lamb and balance out the balsamic vinegar. I couldn’t be happier with how this recipe turned out. It truly didn’t need any adjusting at all. If anything, I would have doubled the recipe because it disappeared far too quickly. This is a great crowd pleaser too. You just need some crunchy sourdough to mop up any sauce in your plate and some great Italian red wine such as Nebbiolo, and you will have instant happiness.


What you’ll need:

1 tbs olive oil
4 lamb shanks, trimmed of fat
50g unsalted butter
2 red onions, halved & thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbs tomato paste
250ml dry white wine
500ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
500g dried pappardelle pasta
finely grated parmesan, to serve
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 140°C Fan  or 160°C Conventional.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof casserole over medium-high heat. Season the shanks well with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Transfer shanks to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter, onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes until the onion is soft and caramelised. Add the vinegar, rosemary, tomato paste, wine, stock and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Return shanks to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover with a layer of baking paper and foil, then the lid. Transfer to oven and cook for 2½ hours until the meat pulls easily off the bone. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Transfer shanks to a large plate and remove the meat from the bones. Return meat to sauce and stir to combine.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions until al dente. Reserve ⅓ cup of the pasta water then drain. Add pasta to ragu, along with the pasta water to make a silky sauce. Toss to combine and serve topped with grated Parmesan and extra black pepper.

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