Neighbourhood restaurant Wild by Tart, which is based in Belgravia, was founded by Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison of successful catering company Tart London, here they share with us a delicious take on Easter lamb.
The pair said: “We go weak at the knees for a ragù. It’s probably the first thing that we order in an Italian restaurant, followed perhaps by a vongole or a spicy crab linguini. Whilst we can’t be in Italy right now, recreating a version for Easter with lamb is a real treat. We use lamb neck for this recipe as it is so tender and it’s inexpensive which always helps. This dish almost feels quite summery with the basil chimichurri – ragùs aren’t just for cold, dark nights in! We are serving it with cheesy polenta which is nice for a change, but it’s equally delicious with pasta if the thought of standing there whisking up polenta fills you with dread – although the quick cook polenta is pretty speedy.”
Splash of olive oil
900g lamb neck, chopped into chunks
1 onion, finally chopped
4 garlic cloves, finally chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
2 sprigs thyme, chopped
Bunch of sage, chopped
1 tsp crushed chillies
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 fennel bulb, finally chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes
250ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
1 tbsp red currant jelly
For the basil chimichurri:
Bunch of mint (woody stalks removed)
1 green chilli
2 clove garlic
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Squeeze of lemon
1. Heat the olive oil over a high heat in a medium sized, heavy based sauce pan. Add the lamb and sear until all browned, remove from pan and reserve to one side.
2. Turn down the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, celery, fennel, mushrooms and dried chilli and sauté until soft and starting to caramelise.
3. Return the lamb to the pan, then add the tomatoes, white wine, stock, and jelly, reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least two hours (the longer the better), you can just pop in the oven and leave on a low heat if that’s easier.
4. While the ragù is cooking make the chimichurri, add all ingredients into a food processor and blitz, if you don’t have one then finally chop and combine.
5. When ready to serve, prepare the polenta to the instructions on the packet – we suggest also adding lots of butter and parmesan to make it deliciously luxurious. Serve the polenta in a warmed bowl and spoon the ragù on top, then grate parmesan and drizzle the chimichurri.