What happens when an Irish girl who loves good food becomes friends with a Boston born Italian?  May I present to you slowly cooked gigot lamb shoulder chops, with similar flavor components to Irish lamb stew, combined with an Italian flair and a ‘wee’ touch of green?

Over lockdown many of us have been playing in the kitchen, learning new skills, and maybe even experimenting with different international cuisines.  Just this year, I have been making our own fresh pasta and enjoying the simple pleasure of combining eggs and flour to make something so satisfying and comforting.  Growing up Irish, Lamb Stew was a weekly dish that my  mother coked for our family, and I continued that tradition as an immigrant living in the USA with my own family.  Modern Irish food celebrates the eclectic flavors from all over the world, and I hope you enjoy this Boston Italian/Irish dish.

Sharing family cooking traditions that have been pass on through generations with new friends is gift to the heart, and I for one feel grateful for m new Boston Italian friend for introducing me to the gorgons world of past making.

Green Spinach Pasta

Fresh Egg Pasta

Lamb Ragu (serve with Spinach pasta for a wee touch of green)

(recipe serves 4-6 people)

  • 4 oz apple wood smoked bacon (finely diced)
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lb. of gigot shoulder of lamb (with the bone in)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup of carrots (2 small carrots finely diced)
  • 3/4 cups (1 stalk of celery finely diced)
  • ¾ cups (1 small red pepper chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • ¾ red wine
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 (28 oz. can tomatoes coarsely chopped with juices)
  • ¾ cup of chicken stock
  • (to serve)
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach and basil pasta (cooked al dente)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated)

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. In a medium skillet heat 4 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat. Add the smoked bacon to the pan and cook until it is crispy, and the fat has rendered.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving 2 Tbsp of fat in the skillet to cook the lamb.
  3. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and begin to cook in small batches to sear and brown, adding more olive oil, as necessary. (It is important to let the chops brown evenly and not steam).
  4. When all the chops are browned, combine all the seared meat together in the skillet, and then add the onion stirring until they are lightly browned. Stir in the carrot’s celery, red pepper, garlic, and the rosemary and allow them to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine and allow it to reduce for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken stock, sugar. Taste to adjust seasoning adding a little more salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for 2 ½-3 hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Allow the lamb to cool to room temperature, and then remove the chops and cut all the meat away from the bones using a knife.  Discard all the bones and add the lamb meat back in to the ragu along with the reserved crispy bacon.
  7. To serve slowly heat up the ragu, stirring to heat through. Place the freshly cooked al dente pasta in the center of each bowl, and spoon the ragu on top, with a little finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

As always … Enjoy and have a blessed Holy week!

Shamrock and Peach (Judith)