Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu is a healthy clean eating comfort food that’s perfect for those in between months as the weather starts to cool. With ribbons of soft pappardelle pasta and slow cooked tender lamb shoulder, with a good dose of garlic, salt and rosemary this is an easy dish to get on the table on a Sunday evening.
What is Lamb Ragu?
Ragu is an Italian cooking sauce that is made of canned tomatoes, onion , garlic, stock/broth, tomato paste, and red wine. I didn’t use red wine in my recipe because I didn’t have any on hand. Instead I used tomato paste to boost up the flavour, along with some bay leaves.
Is Ragu Like Bolognese?
No. When I make Ragu, I cook the meat in the sauce, shred it and serve it with a only little of the sauce, whereas when I make Bolognese there is more sauce to meat. With Ragu, it tends to be more meat, less sauce.
How To Cook The Lamb So It’s Tender and Falls Apart
I like to use Lamb Shoulder when I slow cook. I used a 700 gram piece and cut it into thirds to make it fit into the slow cooker. This much meat, will serve 6 people.
The first important step is to brown the meat so you get a nice caramelised golden colour on the outside. I tend to brown the meat in a pan on the stove as I can get higher heat and better colour. My slow cooker does have a browning function, but it doesn’t get the same level of colour.
TIP: I’d recommend browning on the stove, even though it means dirtying an extra pan, it’s worth it to create a better flavour with the meat.
Once the meat is browned, arrange the pieces into the slow cooker and make the sauce in the same pan on the stove. Once it’s heated through, pour it over the meat and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on LOW.
Once the meat is cooked, shred it using two forks, discarding any fatty bits.
3 Ways to Serve Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu
- My favourite way to eat Lamb Ragu is with pappardelle pasta. We have been going through a lot of this pasta recently in our house, especially as the weather cools down. It’s thick and hold the meat well.
- Another way to enjoy this delicious slow cooked lamb is on top of creamy Mash. I like a combo of sweet potato and white potatoes, along with a few green peas on the side.
- A third interesting way is to mix up a batch of creamy polenta, which is a coarsely ground cornmeal that goes well with savoury dishes.
To finish, serve up your Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu with a sprinkling of parmesan and some finely chopped basil on top for a seriously satisfying dinner. If you like a little kick to wake up your tastebuds even more, add a few chilli flakes as well.
More Slow Cooker Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Thai Beef Green Curry
- Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken and Mash
- Slow Cooker Juicy Moroccan Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Moroccan beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Asian Lemon Chicken and Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Tender Beef Korma
Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu
- 1.5 pounds /700 grams of Lamb Shoulder - cut into half
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons - Garlic minced
- 1 large brown onion - finely diced
- 1 440 gram/28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup beef stock/broth
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 500 grams 16 ounces pappardelle pasta
- Parmesan - and finely chopped basil for topping
- Heat a skillet or pan on medium to high, add the oil and brown the meat on both sides until it is golden and brown. Around 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place into the slow cooker.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook until fragrant and onions turn translucent.
- Add in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and stock/broth. Stir to mix in. Around 2 minutes.
- Pour in the sauce over the meat in the slow cooker. Add bay leaves, rosemary, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
- Remove meat from slow cooker and pull apart with two forks into shreds . Return meat back to slow cooker with the sauce and mix together.
- Cook the pappardelle pasta according to the directions on the packet. Then rinse and drain under tap water.
- To serve: equally divide pasta amongst plates, top with the shredded lamb ragu meat, and add a sprinkling of parmesan and finely chopped basil on top.
- Nutrition information includes the pappardelle pasta
Note: Sugars contained in this recipe are from naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables or other natural sweeteners.