Lamb Ragout

BY BILL ST. JOHN
If I were a wine and I had to marry this recipe, I’d ask it, "OK, what am I pairing up with you? With the meaty richness of the lamb? With the sweet-and-tangy of the yogurt? With the starch and base of the vegetables and grains?" How about we make this a "catholic" wedding and suggest a lot of different wines — a red, a white, and a sparkling. The common element to them all is bracing acidity, a textural component that works with or scours away all the many other elements present in the dish.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

• olive oil
• 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
• 12 pearl onions, blanched, skins removed
• 2 cups cooked & cubed Niman Ranch lamb
• 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• salt & pepper to taste

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

Makes: 4 servings
[1] Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high-heat. [2] Add 2 carrots, coarsely chopped; cook 5 minutes. [3] Add 12 pearl onions, blanched, skins removed; cook 5 minutes. [4] Add 2 cups cubed, cooked Niman Ranch lamb, 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth, and salt to taste; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. [5] Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup plain yogurt and pepper to taste. [6] Serve over cooked whole grains like farro or brown rice.

And the wines? Lots to love here...

Anciano Garnacha
This wine is a no-brainer: ripe fruit, appealing label, and unbeatable value for the price. Rich aroma and full body with a smooth finish.

André Goichot White Burgundy
100 percent Chardonnay, but whisperingly oaked and dry as a lick on stone

Château Carbonneau Life of Carbonneau Sparkling Wine
Fresh and lively. This beautiful little sparkler from Bordeaux (yes, they make sparkling wine, too) will please everyone.