The large chunks of lamb in this dish make for a hearty meal. They also allow you to get good colour on the meat when browning, which makes the ragu extra intense while the lamb becomes tender.
1.5kg lamb shoulder, fat left on, cut in 5cm-6cm chunks
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
6 eschalots, sliced thickly in rounds
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery heart (the pale inner stalks), finely diced
6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 fresh bay leaf
300ml dry white wine
1.5 litres chicken stock
450g artichoke hearts in brine
100g frozen peas
500g small pasta (such as tubetti, orzo), cooked
4 sprigs mint, finely chopped
Grana padano cheese, to serve
1. Place a large, heavy-based pot on high heat. Season and oil the lamb and brown the meat very well all over - do this in batches, rather than crowding the pot. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the eschalots, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables start to caramelise. Add the oregano and bay leaf and return the lamb to the pot. Pour over the wine to deglaze. Reduce by half.
3. Add the chicken stock and simmer for two hours until the meat is tender and the liquid is reduced by about two-thirds. Add the artichokes and simmer for 10 minutes. Check and adjust the seasoning.
4. If you want to serve this later, refrigerate or freeze. To serve, reheat the ragu, then add the peas, cooked pasta, mint and some grated grana padano. Mix well and heat through. Check the seasoning and serve immediately with more cheese on the side.