"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.
- Portion size 8 servings
- 2 white bread
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cups very finely chopped onions
- 2 lbs finely ground lean pork
- 3 tablespoons very finely choppped parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon clove
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 4 cups lightly salted beef stock
- 4 cups lightly salted chicken stock
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups cold water
- parsley (optional)
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.