This autumn, We Love Our Lamb has teamed up with Giovanni Pilu, of Pilu at Freshwater and Mitchell Taylor, Third Generation Winemaker at Taylors Wines, to help inspire your next lamb dinner party.
Giovanni Pilu has curated two delicious lamb dishes perfect for any occasion a rich lamb ragu with pappardelle, and a zesty lamb rump with fregula and olive salad. Inspired by these dishes, Mitchell Taylor has suggested the perfect wine pairings to accompany, with red and white options.
Preparation: 30 minutes (plus 24 hours for marinating)
Cooking: 3 hours
1 litre dry red wine
2 sprigs rosemary, torn
2 fresh bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme, torn
10 black peppercorns
1 x 2kg lamb shoulder, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small brown onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 litre vegetable stock
1 lemon, zest finely grated
Extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
100g young Pecorino Sardo, freshly grated
Fresh pappardelle pasta
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
You can prepare the lamb ragu in advance if you are strapped for time, and then simply add to freshly cooked pasta.
For the Ragu:
To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients and add lamb to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning 3 or 4 times so
that all the meat has time to marinade. Remove lamb from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking and set aside in a cool place to come to room temperature.
Remove lamb from marinade and pat dry. Dust meat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add half
the lamb and cook for about 4 minutes, turning as needed to brown each side as much as possible. Transfer meat to a baking dish, skinside down. Fry remaining lamb, adding a little more oil if necessary.
Wipe out pan with paper towel.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Add remaining oil to the pan. When hot, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until
soft and starting to colour, about 5-7 minutes. Add marinade, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add stock and return to the boil.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and carefully pour vegetables and liquid over it. Cover tightly with a double layer of foil and place in oven for
about 2 hours, until meat is tender enough that you can break it apart with a spoon. Remove dish from oven, take the meat out of
the dish and, when cool enough to handle, break the flesh off the bones in large chunks and set aside. Discard the bones.
Place baking dish on the stove over a high heat and bring to the boil. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface, remove bay leaves,
rosemary and thyme stalks and boil until reduced to the thickness of pouring cream. Add salt flakes and pepper. Remove from the
heat, return meat to the sauce and stir to combine well. Cover and keep warm.
For the Pappardelle:
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add fine sea salt then pasta and boil for about 3 minutes, until tender. Strain well, retaining
some of the cooking water.
Add pasta to most of the sauce and toss for a minute to coat well. Add butter, lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil and toss well to
combine. If it's a bit dry add a couple of tablespoons of reserved cooking water and stir it through.
Serve in large pasta bowls and sprinkle with Pecorino. Serve with remaining sauce in a separate bowl for those who like their pasta
The Perfect Wine
A wine that is just as rich and hearty as this dish is needed to balance the weight. In whites, look for ones with depth, complexity and acidity. For reds, blends or lighter styles are preferred to complement the dish without overpowering it.
Taylors Promised Land Pinot Noir 2017 – RRP $14
Dark fruit flavours like ripe black cherry and sweet red berry in this Pinot Noir allow the sauce to shine, while delicate spice characters from the soft, silky tannins slice through this flavoursome dish.
Taylors Jaraman Chardonnay 2016 – RRP $25
This wine is complex and intensely flavoured with notes of citrus, white peach and nectarine, the integrated oak brings a creaminess to the palate that will complement the weight of the dish.
Mitchell Taylor's top tips for wine pairing:
Let the star of your dish shine - When pairing wine, firstly consider all the primary characteristics of the dish. With Lamb as the hero of
the dish, think about what will work well without overpowering the meat. Consider the flavour, acidity, saltiness, bitterness, sweetness
and weight, and how the wine will complement these.
Don't side line the sides - Next, focus on the secondary component of the dish, whether this is the sauce or side dish. For
example, a strong sauce is best accompanied with a fully bodied, bold wine.
Now match it up - Ensure both primary and secondary characteristics of your dish marry up with the wine.
Match up the five tastes; sweetness, acidity, saltiness, bitterness, and umami.
Visit We Love our Lamb for more recipe inspiration.