Nourish and Nest Kitchen // with Hello Sweet Pea

Let me say that I was truly excited when my gorgeous friend Elle founded her blog Hello Sweet Pea. Mostly because she is filled with all sorts of inspiring goodness and know-how that just needs to be shared, but also (selfishly) so that I would have an easy online reference to her delicious, wholesome recipes. Now we just need to harass her until she shares her recipe for banana buckwheat pancakes (they are incredibly good)! Make sure you check out Hello Sweet Pea, you won't regret it.

If you are new to the Nourish and Nest blog (hi!), Nourish and Nest Kitchen is a monthly feature where beautiful guest contributors share a recipe to inspire us to nourish our bodies and to gather around the table with those who nourish our souls.

So let me hand it over to Elle, who I know will do just that. Enjoy!

Well hello there Nourish & Nesters, I can only go ahead and presume what lovely people you all are to follow the musings of such a wise, honest, down to earth gal.  It is truly my honour to have the opportunity to post a recipe for you, and I’ve chosen one of my all time favourite hearty winter dishes to see us through this chilly season.

I believe in simple, seasonal, wholesome cooking! More than anything I love an excuse to gather around a table with loved ones and share a meal.  This very Ragu has been stirred through pasta and placed in the centre of a packed table, time after time in our house.  It’s one of those generous dishes that can be stretched to feed the masses due to its abundance of flavour. Although not the most elegant of dishes to feast your eyes upon (or take photos of for that matter), its richness and soulfulness sure do pack a punch.

I usually cook my Ragu in the slow cooker, partly because I love high fiving myself when 4:30pm rolls on and the aroma of a delicious dinner is already filling the house, and also because it’s the most hassle free way of building flavour.  If you don’t have a slow cooker, that’s okay, this dish could be added to a deep, heavy based dish (preferably with a lid) and cooked very slowly in the oven for a similar result.  The most important part is browning your meat and deglazing the pan with the wine, this is what will help to build the flavour into the dish. It’s a very forgiving dish, so don’t be worried if you need to substitute vegetables or herbs for something different to the recipe.

If you require a gluten free version, substitute the plain flour for something suitable (cornflour is probably best), but make sure you don’t just omit it, as the flour helps to thicken the sauce throughout the cooking process.

Although traditionally served with pasta, Ragu could also be served over rice, mash or even on its own with some crusty bread.  If I’m serving it through pasta I usually remove the shanks, discard the bones and carefully pull the meat apart into smaller pieces before adding it back to the rest of the dish.

And as always, best served with company xx

Lamb Ragu


4-5 Lamb shanks (trimmed)

x2 rashes of bacon, diced

x2 400gram tins of crushed tomatoes

x1 eggplant, diced

x2 zucchini, diced

x1 onion, diced

x4 garlic cloves, diced finely

x5-6 mushrooms, diced

½ red capsicum, diced

x1 big handful of fresh herbs, chopped (whatever you have, I used parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme)

2 bay leaves

1 cup red wine

1 cup of chicken stock (or one stock cube/teaspoon of stock powder)

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

2 Tablespoons plain flour (or cornflour if you’d like it to be gluten free)

Salt & pepper

Olive oil for cooking


1. Preheat slow cooker (or low oven) on a low setting
2. Use flour and some salt and pepper to coat the lamb shanks (I usually put the meat, seasoning and flour in a plastic bag and shake it around)
3. Brown the lamb in olive oil over a medium heat, in a heavy based pan.  Once meat is browning, add the bacon and onions to the pan and allow to slightly colour.
4. Remove meat and onions and put them into your preheated slowcooker, DO NOT WASH your pan!
5. Place diced vegetables and fresh herbs on top of the lamb in the slowcooker
6. Keeping your used pan over the heat, add the wine to deglaze the pan and lift all the yummy flavour, after a minute or two add the crushed tomatoes and stock.  Let the mixture simmer for a moment and then pour over lamb and onion in the slow cooker.
7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone.
8. You can serve this dish over pasta, rice, mashor even on its own with some crusty bread.  If I’m serving it through pasta I usually remove the shanks, discard the bones and carefully pull the meat apart into smaller pieces before adding it back to the rest of the dish.


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