When I woke up this morning the rain was falling and there was nothing I craved more than hearty ragout.
This meal is perfect with a bottle of red wine and is full of strong winter flavours like rosemary and garlic. When it comes to slow-cooked ragout I prefer the taste of minced lamb to beef and judging by the empty dinner plates, everyone else does too.
Ragout is relatively simple to make, you just need to have time on your hands and the patience not to eat it straight out of the hot skillet.
To smash the gnocchi I used the back of a spoon and a sheet of baking paper because once cooked they get really sticky. This type of kitchen work is ideal when you’ve got the TV on as it requires no concentration or skill.
- 1 punnet brown mushrooms
- 25 grams dried porcini
- 500 grams minced lamb
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- 290 grams chopped tomatoes
- 2 crushed garlic heads
- 1 diced white onion
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup tomato relish
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 500 grams of gnocchi
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
- Pour a light serving of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt into a large skillet, before cooking the diced onion, 2 sprigs of rosemary and crushed garlic over a medium heat
- Once the onions are soft and translucent, toss the sliced mushrooms into the pan and cook until they are brown
- Sprinkle the chopped thyme and remaining rosemary sprigs into the skillet, before pouring in the red wine and minced lamb
- Once the lamb begins to brown, add the whole punnet of cherry tomatoes along with the chopped tomatoes, boiled porcini mushrooms and tomato relish
- Turn the heat down so that the ragout simmers for 40 minutes and, if you prefer, smash the cherry tomatoes with the back of a fork once they are soft
- While the ragout cooks, boil a pot of salted water and cook the gnocchi for 8 minutes
- Once the gnocchi is al dente, drain the excess water and run the gnocchi under a cold tap for 2 minutes to remove the starch
- Using the back of a spoon smush each piece of gnocchi onto a large sheet of baking paper and then leave them to one side
- Pour the ragout into a casserole dish before assembling the gnocchi side by side until there are no large gaps, scatter the parmesan cheese on top of the gnocchi before cooking the ragout in the oven for 30 minutes
- (To cook the dried porcini simply boil the kettle and pour the water over the mushrooms, leaving them to stew for 10 minutes. Drain the mushrooms of excess water and put them aside for later use.)