Autumnal Lamb Sugo by Tastemade UK Autumnal Lamb Sugo by Tastemade UK

Autumnal Lamb Sugo by Tastemade UK

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Escape the cold back home and teleport your taste buds to Tuscany with this Autumnal Lamb Sugo by Tastemade UK. Delicious, nutritious and heart-warmingly rich, sugo is one of Italy’s many magical sauce creations, celebrated for its depth of flavour which lends itself superbly to tender lamb shoulder. Slow-cook this stew on a Sunday, freeze, then look forward to hearty meals throughout the week.

Preparation: 15 mins 
Cooking: 180 mins

Serves 8 to 10

1 kg European lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 3cm chunks


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

150 grams smoked pancetta, finely diced

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato purée

1 tablespoon plain flour

250 ml red wine

2 x 400g cans good whole plum tomatoes

250 ml good quality beef or lamb stock

3 bay leaves

3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped

1 tablespoon caster sugar (optional)

2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed

Freshly chopped parsley, to serve

Freshly ground black pepper

  • Season the lamb with salt and heat a large heavy based casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Over a high heat, fry off the lamb in batches, browning on all sides until caramelised all over. As you remove each batch and set aside, add a splash of water to the pan to deglaze it, and save these juices with the cooked meat. Cook off the rest of the meat using a further tablespoon of oil.
  • In the same pan, add the pancetta with the final tablespoon of oil and cook until the fat renders  from the pancetta and is golden. Turn down the heat and add the onions, celery and carrot. Season and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly until very soft. If at any point the vegetables are catching, add a splash of water.
  • Add the garlic and tomato purée and cook for a further minute, then add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn up the heat, add the wine and allow to bubble up and cook off for 2 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes, stock and herbs. Return the meat and reserved juices to the pan, bring up to the boil, then turn down to a bare simmer. Partially cover with a lid and cook for around 2 ½ hours until the lamb is falling apart tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced, stirring the butter beans in for the last 15 minutes. At this stage, taste and season with salt, pepper and sugar if you think it needs it. Make sure not to stir too vigorously as you want some nice big chunks of lamb. The ragu can also be finished in the oven.
  • Serve with freshly chopped parsley as a garnish.

Tips for batch cooking:

If you’re planning on freezing this stew, freeze it at the stage before you add the butter beans, then when you defrost it, add them later to prevent them getting a funny texture.

When reheating the stew on the hob, add a splash of water to make sure it’s saucy and piping hot before serving.

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