Chef's Recipes

Lamb shoulder with tomato, fagioli and olive ragù

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian main course recipe for lamb shoulder with tomato, fagioli and olive ragu by Danny Russo from The Beresford Hotel.

By Danny Russo
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 5 hrs 35 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Lamb shoulder with tomato, fagioli and olive ragù
Spring is best for lamb, the fat is sweet and adds great flavour to the sauce. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 500 ml dry white wine
  • 10 ripe tomatoes, seeds removed, finely chopped (see note)
  • 150 gm podded borlotti beans (about 250gm unpodded)
  • 100 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 piece of orange rind, removed with a peeler
  • 6 juniper berries, coarsely crushed
  • 6 whole white peppercorns
  • 100 gm black Ligurian olives
  • 2 lamb shoulders, bone in (about 2.2kg each)
  • 1.5 litres (8 cups) chicken stock
  • 100 gm podded broad beans (about 360gm unpodded), blanched, peeled
  • 100 gm yellow beans, blanched and cut into small pieces
  • ½ bunch marjoram, leaves picked


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 120C. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and cook until golden (2-3 minutes), add onion and cook until soft and translucent (4-5 minutes). Add carrot, celery and leek and stir frequently until vegetables are tender but not coloured (6-7 minutes). Deglaze with wine and simmer until reduced by three-quarters (4-5 minutes). Add tomato, borlotti and cannellini beans, thyme, bay leaves, orange rind, spices and half the olives and season generously to taste with sea salt. Transfer to a large flameproof roasting pan.
  • 2
    Heat remaining oil in pan and cook lamb, turning frequently, until browned all over(4-5 minutes), then place on top of vegetables. Add stock, bring to a simmer, cover tightly with foil and cook in oven until meat is very tender and falls from the bone (4-5 hours). Remove lamb from pan, transfer to a serving dish and keep warm. Return pan to stove, bring to the simmer, add broad beans, yellow beans, marjoram and remaining olives and reduce until sauce is thick and vegetables are tender (8-10 minutes). Season to taste and serve immediately with lamb.


Note You can substitute with 16 whole cherry tomatoes. Danny prefers to use the Johnny Love Bite brand.
Drink Suggestion: Lagrein, such as the Italian Alto Adige or Australian Domain Day. Drink suggestion by Danny Russo

  • undefined: Danny Russo