Ring in the New Year w/ Hearty, Healthy Lamb Ragu
Raise your hand if you’re ready for the holidays to be over.
I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but this season has wiped me out. It seems no matter how much I prepare and multi-task, at the end of the day, there’s always something I didn’t manage to cross off my to do list.
Lucky for me — and anyone else suffering from PTHD (Post-Traumatic Holiday Disorder) — there’s only one big event left.
This New Year’s Eve we’re actually hosting a dinner party at our home. Fortunately though, I do not have to cook.
The festivities are an extension of a yearly holiday party the BF and his former roommates hosted every year while they lived together, and one of the gentlemen will be handling the menu (thank goodness).
If you are not so lucky however, and you do have to cook tomorrow evening, may I suggest making it easy on yourself and trying a recipe that looks impressive but requires little work?
My Healthy Lamb Ragu is rich, meaty, incredibly easy to make, and perfect for large groups.
I dreamed up this concoction last week to serve for the pre-Christmas dinner the BF and I have each year before we each go away to our respective families. We call it “Tanglish Christmas,” a mash up of our names.
Has a nice ring to it, right?
Lamb Ragu is one of his favorite dishes from our neighborhood restaurant, Terroni. Since Terroni’s version is probably packed with fat though, I took it upon myself to makeover his beloved recipe.
I took chunks of leg of lamb (which is just as healthy as lean beef with only about 2 grams of fat per serving), and combined it with carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic. I simmered it all in red wine for a rich, luscious taste, and tossed in fresh herbs to give it some flair. Then I let it all seep together for 4 hours in a slow-cooker to get the the most delicious and delicate meat you’ve ever tasted.
Instead of regular pasta, I used brown rice penne to keep the carbs complex and gluten-free.
If you like coconut, this stuff is the jam — so light and creamy, an excellent compliment to the hearty ragu.
The recipe below will serve about 6 for only 177 calories each.
Hearty, Healthy Lamb Ragu
1 lb. Leg of Lamb, cubed and fat removed
1 Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1 Sweet Potato, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 C. Canned Whole Plum Tomatoes
1 C. Red Wine
1 T. Olive Oil
2 Sprigs Rosemary
2 T. Fresh Sage
Salt & Pepper
Brown Rice or Whole Wheat Pasta
1. Coat lamb cubes in salt and pepper.
2. Brown onions, garlic, and lamb in a large saute pan with the olive oil for about 5-8 minutes, stirring continuously. Don’t worry about overcooking the lamb.
3. Add the carrots and herbs…
…and the wine.
4. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half (about 10 minutes).
5. Crush the whole plum tomatoes with a fork, and add to the crock pot with the lamb mixture…
…and the sweet potatoes.
6. Cook in the crock pot for about 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low.
7. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package and pour ragu over the pasta. Serve immediately.
8. Cheers the New Year!
Total Calories: 177 (without the pasta, serves 6). With a serving of brown rice pasta, about 377.
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s Eve and brings in 2014 with a bang…and a bowl of ragu :)
*This post is linked to Marvelous in my Mondays because I’m feeling pretty marvelous about starting the new year!