Wild by Tart's lamb neck ragù with polenta and basil chimichurri

Luxury London

29 April 2021

“We go weak at the knees for a ragù," say Wild by Tart founders Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison. "It’s probably the first thing that we order in an Italian restaurant, followed perhaps by a vongole or a spicy crab linguini. While we can’t be in Italy right now, recreating a version with lamb is a real treat. We use lamb neck for this recipe as it is so tender and it’s inexpensive which always helps. This dish almost feels quite summery with the basil chimichurri – ragùs aren’t just for cold, dark nights in! We serve it with cheesy polenta, which is nice for a change, but it's equally delicious with pasta.”

29 April 2021 | Luxury London


For the ragù

Splash olive oil
900g lamb neck, chopped into chunks
1 onion, finally chopped
4 garlic cloves, finally chopped
2 springs of rosemary, chopped
2 springs thyme, chopped
Bunch sage, chopped
1 tsp crushed chilies
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 fennel bulb, finally chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes
250ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
1 tbsp red currant jelly

For the Basil Chimichurri:

Bunch basil
Bunch parsley
Bunch of mint (woody stalks removed)
1 green chilli
2 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Squeeze of lemon


  1. Heat the olive oil over a high heat in a medium sized, heavy based sauce pan. Add the lamb and sear until browned, remove from pan and put to one side.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, celery, fennel, mushrooms and dried chilli and sauté until soft and starting to caramelize.
  3. Return the lamb to the pan, then add the tomatoes, white wine, stock and jelly, reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least two hours (the longer the better). You can pop in the oven and leave on a low heat if easier.
  4. While the ragù is cooking make the chimichurri, add all ingredients into a food processor and blitz. If you don’t have one then finally chop and combine.
  5. When ready to serve, prepare the polenta to the instructions on the packet – we suggest also adding lots of butter and parmesan to make it deliciously luxurious. Serve the polenta in a warmed bowl and spoon the ragù on top, then grate parmesan and drizzle the chimichurri.

Read more: London's best restaurants for outdoor dining