Lamb Ragout

Lamb Ragout and Pasta for #SundaySupper

In International Food by Amanda Mouttaki36 Comments

One of the things I have loved the most about moving to Morocco is that nearly 100% of what I cook and eat is local, fresh food. We tried very hard to eat this way in the US but as many people will say, cost really does add up.  Here fresh food is cheap – packaged food is expensive, basically the way it should be everywhere. When I can buy pounds and pounds of produce for only a few dollars, it makes experimenting even more fun.

We’ve just finished celebrating Eid al Adha, commemorating the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. At the last minute God told Ibrahaim he could sacrifice a sheep instead because of his obedience. Every year, Muslims around the world remember this by sacrificing a ram. In our home, there were 3 sheep to be sacrificed. I will admit that this can be a very odd holiday for those not used to it. In fact in many ways it’s still a bit odd for me and I’ve been Muslim for nearly 10 years. I can appreciate that nothing goes to waste, every, and I mean every part of the sheep is eaten or used.  The skins are collected and tanned, the organs are eaten (even the head and eyeballs!).

We don’t eat a lot of meat and so while I took some of the meat from our sheep the remainder went to other family members. I knew that I wanted to save a few pieces to make this lamb ragout in a similar style to the beef short rib sauce I made months previous. So, when I saw that this week’s #SundaySupper theme was sauce, and it was right after Eid I knew that this was the perfect recipe to re-create. You can use any cut of lamb (or beef) you’d like.  I stuck with some cuts that came from the back of the sheep.  They had quite a bit of bone but I really wanted to make this as flavorful as possible and using bone-in meat does just that.  I’m calling this a ragout, which in French means a stew but we’ve come to recognize as a type of pasta sauce. You could very easily serve this over potatoes or any other starch. Or, just scoop it up with bread like my kids!

Lamb Ragout and Pasta

Lamb Ragout and Pasta for #SundaySupper


  • 1-1 1/2 lbs bone-in mutton
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • flat-leaf parsley palmful of freshly chopped


  • I made this in a pressure cooker, but if you don't have one, it can also be made in a dutch oven or large cooking pan. You will need to extend the time and also increase the amount of water used.
  • Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to the bottom of a pressure cooker and turn heat to medium. Wash and clean pieces of mutton, removing some of the excess fat. You will want some fat to remain but remove the visible pieces.
  • Brown the meat on all sides.
  • Separate the flesh of the tomatoes from the skin (this can be done by blanching the tomatoes in boiling water and pulling off the skin, grating the flesh of the tomatoes, or simply cutting it out).
  • Add the tomato flesh and tomato paste to the pressure cooker.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and onion. I cut my onion in half, remove the skin and add it whole. I also add the garlic cloves whole. When the sauce is almost done, I remove the garlic cloves and onion. If you prefer you can chop these up and add them.
  • Peel carrots and wash mushrooms. Roughly chop these into a similar size and add to the pressure cooker.
  • Cover everything with water so that the meat and vegetables are submersed.
  • Lastly add salt, pepper, oregano, and flat-leaf parsley. Mix everything together.
  • Place cover onto the pressure cooker and screw tightly.
  • Cook sauce for 1 hour - 1 hour and a half on medium heat. Cooking time will vary depending on how tough the meat is and the bone to meat ratio.
  • Release the steam from the pressure cooker and remove cover.
  • Pull out the onion and garlic and discard.
  • Remove the meat and allow to cool. Use your fingers or a knife to separate the meat from the bones, discarding bones and excess fat. The meat should easily fall away. If it does not, return the cover to the pressure cooker and cook longer.
  • Add the meat back to the sauce and continue cooking until juices have reduced, leaving a thick sauce.
  • Before serving, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve with pasta, potatoes, or scoop up with fresh crusty bread.

Lamb Ragout

You can never have too many good sauce recipes and the #SundaySupper team has you covered this week with loads of delicious ideas.

Savory Sauces

Pasta Sauces and Pastas with Sauce

Entreés with Sauces

Sweet Sauces

Desserts with Sauces

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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Amanda MouttakiLamb Ragout and Pasta for #SundaySupper


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  7. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Amanda, it’s awesome that fresh produce is cheaper there than the manufactured stuff. Ever since watching terrifying documentaries like Food Inc. that talk about how our food is made, what determines the cost of food and the toxic way we eat here in North America, I’ve really tried to cut down on processed foods in my diet but it’s hard. This ragout looks delicious!

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  10. Angie | Big Bear's Wife

    That is so awesome Amanda! Like wow, I was just telling my friend earlier that I wanted to work in some lamb recipes to our diet! How awesome. I also kind of jealous that the fresh food is so cheap there! We’ve been eating “clean” and fresh this month and it’s killing our wallets!

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  15. Stacy

    Eid Mubarak, Amanda! I love that you made a delicious rich stew with the bony bits of the lamb. You are so right that the bones make the best sauce! My pressure cooker is my best friend for those types of cuts.

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  21. Carla

    Lamb is my favorite meat, mainly because I rarely buy and eat it. I wish produce was cheaper than packaged stuff here in the US (and I don’t mean the cheap produce that will rot if you don’t eat it within two days). Wish I was having this for dinner today!

  22. Shannon @VillageGirlBlog

    That is awesome that fresh local ingredients are so available to you! Would love to see that reverse back here in the States. Your sauce sounds amazing. Love what the bones do to the depth of a sauce. Yumm-o!!

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