Ragus are a part of classic Italian cooking. A traditional ragu is a meat-based sauce that typically consists of ground meat (beef, lamb, veal, pork or poultry), a sofrito of minced onions, carrots and celery (sometimes, pancetta); vegetables; tomato puree; wine, broth and, sometimes, milk or heavy cream.
My anti-inflammatory version of ragu omits wine and dairy. It’s easy to make, loaded with hormone-balancing, immune-boosting nutrients; includes vegetables that are easy to find; and, it’s delicious and satisfying.
Though a ragu is traditionally served with pasta, I serve mine with braised Lacinato kale and roasted sweet potato.
How you’re nourishing your body:
Pasture-raised Lamb. A rich source of vitamins and minerals that support thyroid health: Vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, iron and Vitamin B3 (niacin).
Onion. An excellent source of quercetin flavonoids. Quercetin is a plant compound with anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-viral properties and, when consumed regularly, is associated with reduced infection risk.
Ginger. Confers anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting effects.
Carrots. Loaded with beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A in the body.
Organic strained tomatoes. Naturally sweet. A good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
Organic peas. Naturally sweet. A good source of Vitamin K, C and B vitamins.
Ginger Lamb Ragu
1 pound pasture-raised ground lamb (or beef)
3 yellow onions, minced
3 heaping tablespoons minced gingerroot
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 cups finely minced carrot
*You can mince carrots in a food processor
1/2 cup plain, no-salt chicken stock
10 oz. organic strained tomatoes
1-1/2 cups cooked organic peas
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, or to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
Melt coconut oil in a 5.5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the onion. Saute for 4 minutes, or until softened, reducing heat as needed. Add the minced ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, combining about 1 minute. When the onion-spice mixture begins sticking to the pan, add 1/2 cup chicken stock to loosen and deglaze. Stir in the carrots, mixing until well-combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
Add ground lamb. Break up lamb in Dutch oven until evenly distributed and there is no visible pink, about 3-4 minutes. Add organic strained tomatoes, stirring until well combined. If ragu is especially thick, you may want to add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken stock or filtered water to thin mixture, or until you achieve the desired consistency.
Bring mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer another 10 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt.