This is a straight-foward ragu served atop a creamy olive-oil mash. You could put it all in the slow cooker and forget about it.
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, smashed
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 rack of lamb, cut into 4 double-rib cutlets
- 1½ onions, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 8 French shallots, peeled
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 3 marjoram or oregano sprigs
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 tsp sweet pimentòn
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
- 3 tomatoes, grated, skins discarded
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (concentrated purée)
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) brandy or Cognac
- 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) beef stock
- 1 bunch Dutch carrots, peeled
- 155 g (5½ oz/1 cup) frozen peas
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) sebago, yukon gold or Dutch cream potatoes, peeled and cut into 4-cm (1½-in) chunks
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) full-cream (whole) milk
- 30 g (1 oz) salted butter
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Heat half the oil and the garlic in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the lamb pieces and cutlets and sear on all sides until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium–low and add the remaining oil, the onion, carrot, shallot, herbs, spices, salt and flour. Sauté for 10 minutes or until soft and starting to colour. Stir through the tomato and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then add the brandy, followed by the stock. Gently simmer, semi-covered, for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, to make the mashed potato, place the potato in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the salt and bay leaf, then bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the potato is soft and cooked through. Drain and set aside in a large bowl, discarding the bay leaf.
- Warm the milk and butter in a microwave or small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted and the milk is warmed through. Pour over the potato and mash until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and, using a wooden spoon, beat into the mash until fully incorporated. Add the remaining oil in two batches, then season with salt and pepper.
- Add the Dutch carrots to the lamb and cook for a further 8–10 minutes, then stir through the peas in the final 5 minutes of cooking.
- Divide the mashed potato among plates and top with the lamb ragout.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99