Friday, April 20, 2012

Stella's Lamb Bolognese

Most people visit Stella for their, um, stellar pizza.  But their non-pizza items are worth exploring.    In honor of this week's focus on lamb, we sampled their lamb bolognese, promptly fell in love, and their chef was kind enough to share the recipe.  This version serves 12, which is a hefty batch.  If you announce that you are making Stella's lamb bolognese, however, we're certain that you'll fill the seats at your table quickly.  If not, you can freeze what's left.

Stella's Stellar Lamb Bolognese

3 lbs ground lamb
10 cloves garlic (minced)
2T Spanish paprika
1T fennel seed (toasted & ground)
1T coriander (toasted &  ground)
1T black pepper (ground)
2t cumin (toasted & ground)
2t ground cinnamon
1t cayenne pepper
1t sumac
1ea red bell pepper (small dice)
1ea red onion (small dice)
½  spanish onion (small dice)
1 stalk celery (small dice)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2t crushed red pepper
2t piment d’ espilette (Basque chili powder; order here)
2C spicy red wine
1QT lamb stock (use chicken if unavailable)
2C whole milk
2C crushed tomato
2 oranges (juice and zest)
sachet: 1oz parmesan rinds, 6 sprigs thyme, 6 sprigs oregano, 3 sprigs rosemary, 3 bay leaves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1t black peppercorns
1C pistachio gremolata (recipe follows)
cooked rigatoni pasta (5oz per person)
unsalted butter  (1t per portion)
grated parmigianno regianno (1T per portion)
extra virgin olive oil (1T per portion)
minced flat leaf parsley (1T per portion)
S&P to taste

For the Bolognese:

1.     combine first 10 ingredients and refridgerate for 48hrs allowing the spice to permeate the  meat
2.     sweat  onions , celery, red pepper,  and remaining garlic until translucent
3.     add crushed pepper and piment d’ espilette and toast until fragrant
4.     add lamb/spice mixture and cook through breaking apart meat as it cooks, seasoning with S&P as you go
5.     deglaze with red wine and reduce by half
6.     add remaining ingredients (stopping at  gremolata) and simmer slowly until texture is meaty with very little liquid (about 3hrs)

For the Gremolata (combine the following):

1C grated parmesan cheese toasted in a low oven on non-stick pan until golden brown
1C fine bread crumbs toasted
½ C pistachio dust
1T chili flakes
Rind from 4 preserved lemons finely minced
6 sprigs rosemary leaves minced
S&P to taste
To Finish:

Combine hot pasta with Bolognese sauce and allow to cook for a couple minutes  so pasta can absorb the flavor, finish with butter, cheese, olive oil, parsley and gremolata. 

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