Yep, a delicious ragu using lamb mince is on the menu today. This recipe is made with the idea of getting a tasty dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, keeping the costs down whilst putting maximum flavour on the table. Sounds like a unicorn right? Well, if you are keen to try out my lamb mince ragu then get scrolling (don't forget to check out my handy hints on the way down too)!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- ready in 30 minutes
- freezer friendly
- fancy enough to serve at a dinner party
Right, well if that list doesn't make you want to cook and serve my lamb mince ragu to your friends and family then I don't know what will! A meal full of vegetables, that takes 30 minutes to make and that you can serve to both family, friends or "fancy" dinner party peeps #goals
This recipe was made with a delicious Montepulciano in mind from Purple Hands Winery and boy was the pairing a success! I would thoroughly recommend checking out my review below and cooking this up whilst cracking a bottle at your next dinner party!
The beauty of this recipe is all the ingredients you need are readily available in any/all grocery store. In fact, the majority of them are items you will already have in the pantry or cupboard. So don't think you need to start travelling far and wide to pick up something obscure!
- lamb mince - softer and not as strong a flavour as beef mince it's great to add spices & herbs to
- vegetables - fennel, carrots, garlic & onion bulk up the ragu but also add an extra layer of flavour
- pantry good - oil, tinned tomatoes & tomato paste. Having a jar of these in the pantry at all times is 100% essential
- herbs/spices - cumin, oregano, salt & pepper. Prob my fave combo to add to lamb are these middle eastern spices
- red wine - not just an important ingredient but also to relax yourself and to help unwind from the day 😉
Don't delay - add these items to your list and whip up this delicious lamb mince ragu in 30 minutes. What's even better is to make a double portion and freeze it for an even quicker meal 😉
Cooking The Recipe
Below are some images that will help you on your way to nailing my lamb mince ragu. For full details on how to make this dish I advise you to check out the recipe card below.
After gathering all your ingredients follow the following steps to master my lamb mince ragu
1 - blitz all the vegetables (fennel, garlic, onion & carrots together).
2 - cook off the vegetables in a heavy-bottomed pan with oil & some seasoning (approx 4 mins)
3 - once the vegetables are cooked, add the lamb mince & spices cooking for a further 4 minutes. Make sure to break up the mince as it cooks
4 - cook off the tomato paste for 1 minute and then add the tinned tomatoes, red wine & stock. Simmer on a low-medium heat for approx 10 minutes
** as you are cooking the vegetables get your pasta water ready. Cook according to instructions so that it is ready at the same time as you finish cooking the lamb mince ragu**
Orange & Dill Dressing
On a recent dish of mine (my beef cheek ragu), I make a lemon parsley oil to drizzle over the ragu. This is an extra step and sometimes you might wonder "is it necessary" but believe me the addition of the herbs and citrus really brightens the dish up immensely. If you are lucky and your fennel has TONS of fronds then you can use the fronds instead of dill to save a couple extra $$.
To make this simply zest 1 orange, add 2 tbsp of the orange juice, chop up 2 tbsp of dill and some olive oil.
The addition of the dressing is something that takes this dish from a good lamb mince ragu to an epic lamb mince ragu. I also added some toasted pinenuts for texture but a simple pangrattato or these homemade breadcrumbs will also work wonders!
Tips, Tricks & FAQ's
Below are the answers to a few questions that may crop up before, during or after the making of my lamb mince ragu. If you have ANY other questions reach out to me using the contact form on my site, writing a review down below or quicker yet hit me up on Instagram!
The main tip I can give when cooking any recipe for the first time is preparation. Yes, it may mean the 30-minute meal is a 34-minute meal but better to have all the ingredients ready and in front of you and to read the recipe correctly so you don't mess it up. Once you have made the lamb mince recipe once you will easily make it in 30 or under next time!
Also, when cooking/serving the dish reserve some pasta water (about 1/3 cup). Add the pasta back into the pot, add the pasta water and pour the ragu over the top and on low-medium heat stir it all together. The addition of the pasta water not only helps to keep the sauce from drying out but also helps the lamb mince to coat the pasta evenly!
If you aren't a fennel fan then my advice is to substitute in 2 sticks of celery and blitz it all up the same. You won't get that slight aniseed notes that you get from fennel but it will still taste bloody delish!
100%. If you don't own a food processor then by all means chop by hand (or knife!). What makes this lamb mince ragu so good is by blending the veg it not only speeds up the process but hides all the veggies from the kids too 😉
WELL................ it wouldn't be lamb mince ragu then, would it? But, yes the flavours will work using pork or beef mince too!
BRILLIANTLY - that's the beauty of it. You can make a double batch and into the freezer, she goes for an even easier/quicker midweek meal. Make sure you cool it completely and store it in airtight containers
Alternative Lamb Recipes
Inspired by my lamb mince ragu and want to add more delicious lamb dishes to your life? Check out these recipes below that I and other foodies have put together!
Slow-Cooked Moroccan Lamb by Yours Truly
Greek Lamb Salad by Andrea Geddes of 'The Cooking Collective'
BBQ Easy Carve Lamb Leg by Yours Truly
Easy Slow-cooked Greek Lamb w/ Lemon Garlic Potatoes
Smoked Lamb Shanks, Polenta & Anchovy Dressing by Yours Truly
Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu by Sarah Brooks of 'Aussie Home Cook'
Purple Hands Winery
What a winery! I am yet to taste bad wine from the guys over at Purple Hands. They have a number of wines/labels under their umbrella and of the 10 or so I have tasted I have been a very happy man!
A truly epic bunch of wines over 4 different labels. Purple hands came about as Mark & Craig were searching for a name for the winery. As most wine people and all winemakers will know your hands live in a constant state of purple during the winemaking process. The guys created and experimented with handprints and then left the "experts" to design it. They stuck to what they knew best - making great wine!
Wines In Their Range
In their range you will find wines under the 'Colours of the South' name, 'Purple Hands', 'After Five Wine Co' (which I'll discuss a little more in a bit) and their 'Planta Circa' range. The latter came about as they became custodians to a parcel of land in Lyndoch. Amongst a good bit of work by a custodian dates the vines back to the late 1800s and therefore gives the vines the Ancestor Vine (when vines are 125 years + old) name. Planta circa translated is "planted around the region of" - such is the level of quality here they decided not to produce a wine in 2015 as they didn't feel the grapes were good enough. This tells you all about Craig, Mark and their philosophy - only the best will do!
After Five Wine Co Montepulciano
I'll give you 2 guesses why they called this label the 'After Five Wine Co'........ Working a 9-5 may seem a little boring or samey but there is nothing better than knowing you are knocking off work at a certain time. That you can get home to your loved ones and MOST importantly crack a glass of wine and relax!
These wines have all been created to drink, share and enjoy amongst friends and family. Shiraz, Grenache, Aglianco & Montepulciano are the grapes that you will find under this label. All are wines (in my opinion) that are excellent with fruit and even better served with friends!
Lamb Mince Ragu & Montepulciano
This lamb mince ragu recipe was created with the Montepulciano in mind and if ever there was a variety that should be drunk with food and friends it's an Italian grape. Montepulciano originates from Abruzzo - a region of Southern Italy but on the map, it's pretty much East of Rome. The medium-bodied wine has firm tannins but plenty of acidity making it perfect alongside meatier dishes.
South Australia wine regions are often known for their Mediterranean climate and more and more we are seeing grape varietals you would find from those regions. The After Five Wine Co Montepulciano is fruity and herbaceous on the nose. Cherry, cocoa, cinnamon and maybe even a touch of eucalyptus coming through too (after all we are in Australia!). The body has lovely velvety tannins with some herbal notes. There is a touch of orange zest too and beautiful natural acidity making this one wine I am happy to have more of in the cellar!
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!!
- 500 g lamb mince
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 red onion
- 1 carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 400 g tinned tomatoes
- 125 ml red wine
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
Orange Dill Dressing
- 2 tbsp dill - chopped
- 1 orange zested & 2 tbsp juice
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp pinenuts per person optional
- parmesan cheese
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- Measuring utensils
- heavy bottom saucepan
- mixing bowl
- frying pan – for pinenuts
- Blitz the carrots, fennel, garlic & onion on a food processor
- Cook the vegetables in a heavy bottom casserole dish with the olive oil for 4 minutes
- Add lamb mince & herbs/spices and cook for a further 4 minutes, breaking the lamb up with a wooden spoon as you go
- Add tomato paste and cook for a further minute
- Pour in the tinned tomatoes, red wine & stock and allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce as reduced to a Bolognese consistency
Orange Dill Dressing
- Mix all ingredients together and store in the fridge until ready to use
- Toast the pinenuts in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown *see tips*
- when toasting pinenuts be mindful of they will go from golden brown to burnt in a matter of seconds! Once cooked it’s best to remove them from the pan as the residual heat will continue to cook them in the pan
- if not using pinenuts some toasted breadcrumbs are another way to add a little texture to the dish
- you can chop all the vegetables but using a food processor is quicker and the consistency blends in with the lamb mince giving the look of pure mince – a great trick for getting kids to eat their veg!