Recipe: Selden Standard's Lamb Ragu

Posted at 10:17 AM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 10:17:05-05

Selden Standard's co-owner and chef Andy Hollyday joined us on 7 Action News this morning to cook up the restaurant's popular Lamb Ragu dish.

The restaurant was just named Hour Detroit's 2016 Restaurant of the Year.

If you're interested in buying tickets to their Savor Detroit cooking series, go here.


Lamb Ragu


2 T olive oil

2-3 lamb shanks (approx. 3 lbs), seasoned with salt and pepper

1 medium onion (8 oz), medium dice

1 large carrot (4 oz), medium dice

2 celery stalks (4 oz), medium dice

7 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

2 T tomato paste

1 cup white wine

Canned, diced tomatoes (One 28oz can)

1 quart chicken stock

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs rosemary

½ tsp chile flakes

salt & pepper to taste

1lb. fresh or dry pasta

3 T salt

¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

¼ cup fresh, flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 T butter (optional)

Freshly grated parmesan for garnish


Preheat oven to 325.

Heat a 5 ½ quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil. Place the seasoned lamb shanks into the hot oil. Brown lamb shanks 5-10 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Remove and set shanks aside on a plate. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the Dutch oven with a pinch of salt. Turn heat down to medium and sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables are light golden, stirring to help remove any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add tomato paste and stir for one minute. Add wine and reduce by half (1-2 minutes). Add tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, herbs, and chile flakes. Bring to a simmer. Add lamb shanks back to pot. Cover. Place in the oven. Cook shanks until meat becomes tender, 2 ½ - 3 hours. A knife should meet no resistance when inserted into its thickest part.

Once tender, remove lamb shanks to a plate. Strain the braising liquid and return back to the Dutch oven. Reduce by half over medium heat for about 10 minutes. While liquid is reducing, now would be a good time to get a 6 quart pot of water on the stove. While you are waiting for the water to boil, flake the meat off the bone with a fork. Discard bone and excess fat. Once liquid is reduced, return the shredded meat to the pot. Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken the sauce even a little further.

Now back to your pot of water, once it’s at a boil, season your pasta water with 3 T of salt or until it has a flavor that’s a little less salty than the sea. For dry pasta, cook to package’s instructions for al dente. For fresh, cook 1-2 minutes. When pasta is cooked al dente, drain and place in the pot with the ragu. Stir to combine. If it is a little loose, return to medium heat until sauce clings to pasta. If a little dry, add a little splash or two of pasta water to loosen it up. Stir in olives, parsley, and the optional butter.

Distribute amongst 6 plates. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.