Author: Canadian Living

In times of economic burden, creativity emerges as an essential coping strategy. We have all heard stories of individuals who relied on imagination and ingenuity to survive tough financial times! This simple and versatile recipe brings from sea to shining sea into the kitchen. The basic ragout uses staple ingredients that can be found in any grocery store. It functions as a base for a stew, can be served alone for less carnivorous palates, or stands as a side dish for an accompanying meat choice. Most importantly, it can be embellished with a variety of economical add-ins to add a bit of variety with a Canadiana flair! Sounds good, eh? As a general tip, I frequently visit the reduced vegetable section for produce that isn't in tip top shape, but can be safely used the same day. Every last penny helps!

  • Portion size 6 servings
  • Credits : Christine Palmay

Ingredients

Basic Ragout:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 onions coarsely chopped into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 eggplant cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 24 button mushrooms halved
  • 2 red peppers seeds and stems removed, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 zucchinis cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaf shredded (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 20 green olives pitted and drained
  • 20 black olives pitted and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
East Coast Version (Optional):
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 lbs mussels
Ontario Version (Optional):
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 6 lamb chops
  • rosemary sprig
  • seasoning salt
Prairies Version (Optional):
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 kg pre-sliced beef stir-fry strips
West Coast Version (Optional):
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 packages raw shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons capers

Method

Basic Ragout:
1. Heat canola oil in a large skillet or wok on medium heat, sauté garlic and onions until brown and fragrant (about 4 minutes).

2. Add 2 cans of undrained tomatoes and stir occasionally, uncovered, until heated through and slightly reduced (approximately 15 minutes).

3. Add chopped eggplant, mushrooms, red peppers and zucchinis - continue to cook on medium heath for another 15 minutes.

4. Add Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, basil leaves and olive. Reduce heath to medium low and let sauté uncovered until ragout is thick (approximately 15-20 minutes depending on oven).

5. Add salt and pepper, adjust to taste.

6. Serve immediately according to variations below, or simply on its own with a rustic, thick slice of bread!

Approximate cost of basic ragout: $32.00

East Cost Version:
1. Substitute 3 tbsp red wine or cider vinegar with ¼ cup white wine.

2. Add approximately 2 lbs mussels when adding the wine and Worcestershire sauce, basil leaves and olives. The mussels will open as they become cooked.

Approximate total cost: $58.00

Prairies Version:
1. Basic ragout as above.

2. In a separate frying pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and brown pre-sliced beef strips (1kg) until brown on outside.

3. Add to ragout recipe when adding the vegetables.

Approximate total cost: $49.00

Ontario Version:
1. Basic ragout as above.

2. Substitute 3 tbsp red wine or cider vinegar with ¼ cup white wine.

3. Add 1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped.

4. Purchase 6 lamb chops from the store. Dry rub with spices of choice (rosemary, a popular favourite) and grill to liking. Serve ragout over lamp chops and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Approximate total cost: $62.00

West Coast Version:
1. Basic ragout recipe as above.

2. Substitute red wine vinegar or cider vinegar with ¼ cup white wine.

3. Add 2 packages of peeled, raw shrimp when adding the vegetables.

4. Add approximately 2 tbsp of capers with the olives

Approximate total cost: $58.00
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From Sea to Shining Sea Ragout

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