Turkey and Lamb Ragu – A Lesson In Flavor Bones

I’ll tell you a secret. Buy bones and keep them in your freezer, then use them to flavor stews and sauces. I did this for my lamb and turkey ragu, which had very little lamb meat in the sauce but all the lamb flavor – from a pound of lamb neck bones.

Beef, pork, and lamb neck bones are an excellent way to flavor soup stock and sauces because bones release gelatine from the collagen and albumen and impart an earthy, musky flavor to your stew. The meat around bones is also the most tender and flavorful, because the bones have the best blood supply in the cut.

I made a simple ragu sauce from lamb neck bones and ground turkey, and came up with a sauce that makes it really, really hard to go to a restaurant for the same thing. Enjoy!

Lamb and Turkey Ragu

1-2 pounds lamb neck bones
1 pound ground turkey
1 head garlic coarsely chopped
1 can Muir Glen whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
Italian seasoning
6 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped coarsely

Brown the neck bones in a stew pot or Dutch oven. Add the ground turkey and garlic and saute, separating the turkey pieces. Add the canned tomatoes and the tomato paste, and Italian seasoning. Simmer covered on low heat until meat is falling off the neck bones, about 2.5 hours. Remove bones from sauce, pulling off any meat and adding it into the sauce. Add Kalamata olives at the end of cooking, season with salt and pepper. Serve with cappelini, tagliatelle, or cavatelli.


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