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Luscious Lamb Ragù.

Braised Leg of Lamb Ragù with Carrots, Onion, Herbs & Red Wine Served Over Pasta.

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I love going to the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market to pick up fresh and local produce and meats. I went recently and got a leg of lamb. Gareth loves lamb, being Welsh and all (cue the lamb jokes!) so I waned to make something special with it. I’ve only made roast leg of lamb in the past, so this time I wanted to do something totally different. I browsed lots off different lamb recipes to get ideas, and decided to make a hearty lamb ragù over pasta. It turned out absolutely delicious. The sauce was rich and hearty with perfectly tender meat. It was a wonderful meal for a chilly winter night.

Makes ~5 cups of sauce.

Recipe is adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb leg of boneless leg lamb
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic (2 cloves or so)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • grated Parmesan for topping
  • pasta of your choice (I used Trader Joe’s gluten-free brown rice penne)

Cut the leg of lamb into smaller pieces and trim off any excess fat. Heat a large, deep pan or dutch oven on the stove on medium/high heat. The pan needs to be deep enough to hold all the sauce and ingredients that will be added. Add the olive oil and chopped garlic. Once the oil is heated and the garlic is lightly browned, add in the lamb and cook each side for about 3 minutes. Once the outside of the lamb has browned, remove the lamb from the pan and set aside.

Add the carrots, onion and parsley to the hot pan and cook on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Once the vegetables have softened, add the lamb back into the pan and heat on high. Pour the red wine into the pan. Once the wine reduces by about half, add in the can of crushed tomatoes. Put the heat on low and season with a dash of sea salt and cayenne pepper. Put the lid on the pan and cook on low/simmer for about two hours.

After the dish is finished cooking, remove the lamb from the sauce and use two forks to pull apart the lamb to create a shredded consistency. Once shredded, add the meat back into the sauce and stir well.

Cook the pasta as directed on the package. Once cooked, put a large spoonful of the ragù on top with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.

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Wine Tasting In Buenos Aires – Anuva Wines

Anuva Wines ~ Buenos Aires

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While in Buenos Aires, we wanted to do a wine tasting to experience some of the great wines South America has to offer. We came across a spot called Anuva Wines while doing some last-minute Google searches on the hotel WiFi and made a reservation for a tasting later that day. We spent the morning eagerly awaiting our first wine tasting of the trip, and it was worth the wait! Hidden on a side street in the midst of the fashionable Palermo Soho, we found a large, unmarked black door which led us up a steep staircase into an enormous, light filled room. There was a large table of people who looked just as excited as us to start sampling wines. The sommelier was named Diego, and he was great. He gave great explanations of each wine and was happy to refill our glasses as much as we desired, which made me happy. Each wine was paired with a small bite to eat to compliment the flavors of that wine. It was a truly delicious and fun experience. It was probably the best part of our trip to Buenos Aires. If in BA, definitely head over to Anuva Wines!

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The first wine that was poured was Las Perdices Extra Brut and my oh my, it was delicious. The wine had a subtle citric aroma and tasted of pear and apple. I drank mine a bit too fast, but it was so refreshing after walking around in the heat. It was paired with two types of crostini: ricotta and lemon & arugula, pear and walnut. We ended up buying a couple of bottles to ship back to the US, so can’t wait to open up a bottle of this once the weather warms up!

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The second wine served was Mairena Torrontés. This wine had an aroma of tropical fruits and lychee and tasted like grapefruit and apricot. It was was served with humita, which I had never heard of before. Diego was kind enough to write down all the ingredients of the dish for me so I could try to recreate it myself. It’s similar to a stew and is cooked with yellow corn, red and green bell peppers, pumpkin, basil, chimichurri, onion, milk and cheese. The chimchurri gives it a mild spiciness that paired perfectly with the citric flavors of the Torrontés.

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The third wine poured was the Mairena Bonarda. The wine had an aroma of pepper, dark fruits and vanilla and had a smooth and spicy blackberry taste. It was served with a selection of cured meats and cheeses. You really can’t go wrong with wine + meats and cheeses, it’s basically the best combination ever.

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The fourth wine was San Gimignano Syrah Roble. The wine had an arroma of vanilla, violets and red fruit and had a dark, spicy flavor. It was paired with a traditional meat and potato empanada. It was perfectly cooked and tasted great with the bold flavor of the wine.

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Last, but certainly not least, the fifth and final wine poured was a Carinae Finca Deneza Malbec. The wine had an aroma of leather and a deep, bold, tannic flavor. It was served with two delicious chocolate truffles. Now, by this point in the tasting, I was admittedly a bit drunk (and by a bit, I mean really) but even while intoxicated it was still so interesting to see how the tastes of the chocolate changed and enhanced the flavors in the wine. The sweet, rich chocolate was the perfect end to tasting.

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