Tested till perfect Ragout de Boulettes

Ragout de Boulettes

"Meatball stew" doesn't convey the spicy goodness of these lean pork meatballs simmered in broth. They are perfectly delicious with a sprinkle of parsley and a bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. This is a recipe from the family collection of Andr?eauchamp of Ottawa, but variations on the theme are found in Canada wherever French is spoken. Ragout de Boulettes reheats beautifully and travels well to chalet or potluck suppers.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Recipe4 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.
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  • Portion size 6 to 8


  • 2 2slices good-quality white bread
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupmilk
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspbutter
  • 3/4 cup 3/4cupvery finely chopped oniononions
  • 2 lb 2lbfinely ground lean pork
  • 3 tbsp 3tbspvery finely choppped parsley
  • 2 tsp 2tspsalt
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspfreshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspclovecloves
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspginger
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspfreshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspcinnamon
  • 1 tsp 1tspdry mustard
  • 4 cups 4cupslightly salted beef stock or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupall-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup 3/4cupcold water
  • finely chopped parsley, (optional)
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Crumb or cube bread very finely and soak in milk for 5 minutes. In large skillet, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter and saut?nion until tender. Transfer to large bowl and add pork, bread and milk, parsley and seasonings. Mix thoroughly with hands; form into balls about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.

Melt remaining butter in skillet and, over medium heat, brown meatballs, one layer at a time, on all sides. Place meatballs in medium-size saucepan.

Pour 1 cup (250 mL) stock into skillet and heat, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; pour this and remaining stock over meatballs. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Taste stock and adjust seasoning.

Now the secret to the goodness of a ragout Quebec-style: Sprinkle flour into a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until flour becomes an even mid-caramel colour; cool. In jar with tight-fitting lid, shake flour with cold water to make a smooth creamy liquid. Pour this slowly into simmering stock, stirring constantly, so stock will thicken without lumps.

Simmer stew another 10 minutes. Sprinkle generously with parsley if desired and serve.

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