Culinary Corner: Slow-cooked Lamb Ragu

lamb ragu recipe

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Brrrr… It’s safe to say that winter is definitely here! Cold days and nights call for warming comfort food and what better way to warm your insides than with this fantastic (and easy to make) slow-cooked lamb ragu? Created as a winter lunch for the children at Melbourne early learning centre, 101 Collins Street, this meal is nourishing, filling and is always a big hit.

Nutrition is an important part of life at our Guardian centres and 101 Collins Street is no different. With four nutritionally-balanced meals and snacks provided throughout the day and a family dining area that encourages our families to join us for breakfast, mealtimes are an exciting and delicious part of daily life at 101 Collins.

Slow-cooked Lamb Ragu

This ragu makes a wonderful mid-week meal and tastes just as good (if not more delicious) the next day after the flavours have had time to develop.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1kg half leg of lamb
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 slices pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme and sage)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 Massel chicken style stock cubes, crumbled
  • 500g dried pappardelle pasta
  • Shaved parmesan cheese, to serve


  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lamb. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add onion, garlic, pancetta, carrot, celery and herbs to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until onion has softened. Add wine. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, tomato, stock cubes and 2 cups cold water. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil. Return lamb to pan. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, turning halfway during cooking, for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Transfer lamb to a large plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Increase heat to medium. Bring tomato mixture to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Remove and discard fat and bone from lamb. Using 2 forks, coarsely shred lamb. Add to tomato mixture. Stir to combine.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain. Transfer to a platter. Top with lamb mixture and parmesan. Serve.

Learn more about 101 Collins Street

To find out more about this early learning centre in Melbourne, and to book yourself in for a tour, head here.

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