Dutch ragout is something else than the Italian ragout that’s often served over pasta. And as far as we are concerned, ragout belongs to autumn. We still remember the Saturday nights when we finally all sat in front of the TV, and the puff pastry pies with warm ragout came on the table.
Back then, the ragout came out of a can. Now we know that homemade ragout really is so much tastier. And it’s not that hard to make.
How to make ragout
All good recipes start with the right ingredients. In the case of this ragout, you need the right meat that can be stewed well. We used chuck and flat iron steak. Both are tough but tasty cuts of beef that become wonderfully tender when you cook them slowly at a low temperature.
We used beautiful Black Angus beef for this, which is marbled with thin lines of fat. That fat provides flavour and makes that it is still juicy after cooking it for a long time.
How much ragout do we make
The quantities mentioned in this recipe are enough for almost 2.5 kilos of ragout. That’s a lot of ragout. We want to make croquettes out of it and maybe experiment with it even more. If you need less ragout, just halve the ingredients.
We will first sear the meat on piping hot grates. At this moment, we only go for a nice crust. The meat is definitely not cooked yet. First, you pat the beef dry with a piece of kitchen paper. If you don’t do this, that moisture will have to evaporate first before the Maillard reaction can start. The meat will cook too far during steaming, even though it is not yet nicely browned.
The Maillard reaction is a reaction between the sugars and the amino acids in the meat during the heating of the meat. This causes the meat to darken and get a deeper taste.
When the meat is seared, we lower the heat and place the Dutch oven. In this, we throw all the ingredients we need for the taste of the final ragout.
You can adjust these ingredients to your own taste. The bottom line is that it should be a very rich soup. But without the vermicelli, of course. We put the meat in that soup so that it can continue cooking.
After 3 to 4 hours of simmering, the meat has become so soft that it can be pulled apart with two forks. Remove the meat from the soup and tear it into small pieces. Now is your chance to have a quick taste. Actually, that is a requirement as a chef. You want to know if you are on the right track.
You strain the rest of the soup so that you are left with a stock. This stock will soon give the ragout its rich taste.
what is a roux
Then it’s time to make the roux. Roux is nothing more than equal parts butter and flour. Melt the butter at a low temperature and mix in the flour. Do this in small amounts while constantly stirring so that you don’t get lumps. The roux gets thicker and more challenging to stir. But you have to keep doing it to avoid getting thick clumps of dry flour in your ragout.
The colour of your ragout largely depends on how long you let the roux cook. For a lighter ragout, immediately pour the stock back into the pan. If you want a dark ragout, you can bake the roux longer. This may also take longer than you think. For a good dark roux, you can be done in half an hour. In any case, do not open the gas further because then the roux can burn, and you can start over again.
If the roux is to your liking, you can add the meat and the rest of the ingredients. Except for the pickles, this is a normal Dutch ragout. We ad the pickles because we want a slightly lighter taste. We find most ragouts a bit heavy. Leave the pickles out if you like it like this. Stir the ragout well and let it boil for a while.
This is our ragout in ready-made puff pastry pies. You can also make Dutch croquettes with the ragout, and it tastes great on Dutch pancakes. Give it a try, and then you can thank us afterwards. If you are going to make this ragout, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbq.heroes so we can see what you made.
- 1 kilo flat iron steak
- A knob of butter
- 3 shallots diced
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 800 grams of tomato cubes
- 150 ml red wine
- Half a litre of beef stock
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
For the roux
- 250 grams of butter
- 250 grams of flour
After the roux
- A handful of chopped parsley
- 2 diced pickles (optional)
- 100 grams sliced shiitakes
- Worcestershire sauce
- Fire up the grill to get piping hot grates. Pat the meat dry with some kitchen paper and grill it on both sides for a nice crust.
- Put a Dutch oven over medium heat and melt a knob of butter. Saute the garlic, shallots and celery in it. When the shallots are transparent, add the diced tomatoes, wine, stock, pepper and thyme.
- Place the grilled meat in the dutch oven and close the lid. Let this simmer on low heat for 3 to 4 hours until the meat has softened.
- Remove the meat from the pan and tear it apart into small pieces. Strain the rest of the soup so that you only have the stock.
- Put the clean Dutch oven back on the grill and make the roux. Melt the 250 grams of butter in the pan and add the flour while you keep stirring to avoid lumps. Let this roux cook for 3 minutes.
- Pour in the stock while stirring well.
- Toss the meat into the stock along with the parsley, pickles and shiitakes. Stir it well again and let it get warm.
- Bring the ragout up to taste with Worcestershire sauce.