The husband and wife team of Marc Doiron and Lori Wojcik have put their hearts into Town, the acclaimed restaurant they opened seven years ago on Elgin Street. And this past weekend, the restaurateurs formally introduced a new addition to their family: Citizen.
The new restaurant is actually attached to Town and will be a no-reservation, come-as-you-are, casual companion. Doiron and Wojcik brought their local lamb lasagna dish to All in a Day on Wednesday.
Below is their recipe for lamb ragu, which you can incorporate into a lasagna of your own or add directly to pasta. For the lasagna, they say, buy good quality dry or fresh lasagna noodles from an Italian grocery store and garnish with fresh Parmigiano cheese, black olive tapenade, bread crumbs, finely cut mint and chili peppers.
Ingredients: 6 tbsps. olive oil 3 lbs. lamb belly bacon 6 large onions (small dice) 12 carrots (small dice) 12 sticks celery (small dice) 12 cloves garlic (minced) 6 kg. ground lamb 6 cups tomato paste 6 cups red wine 6 cups 3.25 per cent milk 4 tbsps. oregano 1.5 tsp. cinnamon 2/3 of a fresh nutmeg grated 1.5 tsp. pepper salt
Method: In a large saucepan, fry the lamb bacon in olive oil till the fat is rendered and starts to look crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the same pan and sweat until cooked. Add ground lamb and completely brown the meat until the lamb juices have evaporated and it begins to render fat. Once ground lamb is ready, cut lamb bacon into a small dice and add back to the pan mixing in with the ground lamb. Add tomato paste and cook until it turns a nice dark rust colour. Pour in the wine to deglaze. Make sure to scrape all the good bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine by a quarter, then add the milk and spices and season with salt. Cover the saucepan and let simmer stirring occasionally on very low heat for around one-and-a-half hours, until ragu is luscious. When done cooking, skim fat and season to taste. You can cut the recipe in half for smaller amounts.