clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Lamb Shoulder Ragu with Feta Cheese, and Rigatoni

  • Author: Geoff
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 heathy portions plus some leftover! 1x


This ragu, which features the highly flavorful shoulder cut of lamb and the flavor bang of olives and feta cheese, is excellent comfort food on a chilly night.



  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil (any high-temperature oil will do)
  • 2 to 2.5 pounds of lamb shoulder, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
  • 3 anchovy filets, rinsed, dried, and minced
  • 1 onion, peeled, and medium diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup of red wine (full-bodied)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and medium diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives (with pits)
  • 128 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, smashed by hand or put through a food mill
  • 3/4 cup of beef stock
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup pf greek feta, crumbled 
  • 1 pound of rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons of torn Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. In a large saute pan, heat oil to a shimmer, season generously with kosher or sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, add cubed lamb in a single layer (use tongs, so you don’t get hot oil splatter on your hands) and sear on all sides. Repeat this process, dumping the oil and wiping the pan out after each batch.  Put the cooked meat in the slow-cooker.
  2. In the same pan, add oil and heat to a shimmer, add the minced anchovies and mix until they disintegrate in the oil.
  3. Add the onions and cook until softened.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes stirring.
  5. Add the red wine and reduce by half. Add to the slow cooker.
  6. Add the carrots, celery, olives, bay leaf, beef stock, and tomatoes to the slow-cooker.
  7. Cook for 4 hours at the high setting.
  8. Cook the rigatoni to al dente.
  9. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl. Mix the ragu in with the pasta, stirring gently as to not break the rigatoni.
  10. Divide into 4 bowls, generously top with crumbled feta cheese and torn parsley.
  11. ENJOY!


  • If you have a hard time finding a lamb shoulder, a leg will work. Some butchers or grocery stores offer “lamb stew meat already cubed; this will work fine as well.
  • You can absolutely omit the anchovies.
  • Make sure the feta is greek sheep’s milk. Try to get a whole piece and crumble it yourself. The quality is better, as it is a less processed product.
  • Category: slow-cooker
  • Method: Slow-Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Lamb, Ragu, Slow-cooker, Pasta, Feta