Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lamb Ragu on Fettuccine

I was trying to come up with a recipe that I could use lamb and pancetta because we cooked up gyros the night before and had an excess amount of the meat leftover.  I wanted to create a completely different dish and I found this recipe online on the Food Network....This is adapted from Emeril Lagesse's and was exactly what I had in mind.  

Don't let the word "ragu" throw you off.  When I told David I was going to make a ragu he was not too thrilled about the idea.  I asked him if he had ever eaten it before and he admitted that he hadn't and that it was the name that was so unappealing to him.  I convinced him to have an open mind and we were all pleasantly pleased with the outcome of this meal and highly recommend it.  Easy to find ingredients, easy prep and no complicated techniques.  This dish turned out very flavorful, rich and just spicy enough.  Flavors intensify after being refrigerated and make fabulous leftovers.  This would also be good served over mashed potatoes instead of fettuccine.  Serve with a salad, some good, crusty bread and pair with a nice glass of red wine and you have yourself a satisfying, hearty meal.

4 TBSP olive oil

1/4 lb pancetta or bacon, cut into small dice
1 1/2 lbs lamb (may substitute wild boar shoulder, venison or pork), cut into 1/2" cubes
2 TBSP Essence, recipe follows
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1 lb portobello mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean, and chopped
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 cup dry white wine
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes and their juices
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 cup dark chicken stock, or chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 TBSP chopped fresh sage leaves
1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 lb dry fettuccine
Minced fresh parsley, garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan, topping

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and saute, stirring often, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is light brown and crispy, 2 minutes. Season the boar with the Essence, and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, until browned on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until very soft and starting to caramelize, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until nearly evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, salt, pepper, sage and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is thick and fragrant, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and cover to keep warm while preparing the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain in a colander and place in a large serving bowl. Pour the ragu over top the pasta, sprinkle with the parsley and grated cheese, and serve immediately.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

2 1/2 TBSP paprika
2 TBSP salt
2 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP black pepper
1 TBSP onion powder
1 TBSP cayenne pepper
1 TBSP dried leaf oregano
1 TBSP dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup