Meat Ragout

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Meat Ragout

Attention, meat lovers! This recipe has your number, and it’s ready to lure you in with tender bites of pork and meatballs, flavored with a warming spices and covered in a smooth sauce loaded with all the goodness of marrow and bone broth. It takes some effort to make, but the result is worth the labor, and this is definitely a recipe that will leave you with extras to freeze or eat the next day.

One ingredient that might seem a little strange in this recipe is pork legs: we’re used to seeing these as ham, but you can still get fresh pork legs if you have a good butcher. There are two bone-in cuts from the leg:

  • The bottom, also called the shank or the shank roast
  • The top, also called the butt or the top leg roast.

Either of these is fine for this recipe, but make sure you get a bone-in cut. As they slowly simmer with the meat, the minerals in the bones and the rich, buttery marrow in the center will slowly leak out into the broth, adding flavor and nutrition to the finished recipe. Cooking the meat on the bone also helps keep it tender. As you can see in the picture of the raw ingredients below, you should aim for pieces about 1 inch thick and 4-5 inches in diameter: ask the butcher to cut them for you if they don’t come in the right size.

If you don’t like pork or can’t find fresh pork legs, you can replace the legs with other types of meat (and feel free to get creative with game meats like bison or elk), and even the meatballs can be made with any type or mixture of meat. To save some time, it’s helpful to roll and cook the meatballs while the pork legs are simmering on the stove. For the most efficient use of your cooking time, you can also chop up some vegetables and throw them in the oven to roast just before you add the meatballs to the ragout: they’ll be done at the same time as the meat, and you’ll have a full meal on the table ready to enjoy.

Meat Ragout Recipe

Servings SERVES: 6-8Preparation time PREP: 1 h.Cooking time COOK: 3 h.

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces of pork leg;
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon;
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves;
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice;
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced;
  • 2 bay leaves;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;
  • Water or beef stock;
  • Tapioca starch as needed;

Ingredients for the meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground beef;
  • 1 lb. ground pork;
  • 1 onion, minced;
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed;
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon;
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves;
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice;
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg;
  • ½ cup almond flour;
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste;
Meat Ragout preparation

Preparation

  1. Put the pork pieces, bay leaves, and garlic in a large pot. Season to taste and cover with water or beef stock (beef stock will add more flavor to the dish).
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for around 2 hours.
  3. Once the meat is well-cooked, remove from the pot.
  4. Remove the skin and some of the fat from the pork legs and break the meat apart into chunks.
  5. Keep the broth in the pot, but use a strainer or colander to remove the bay leaves and garlic.
  6. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and season to taste.
  7. Roll the meatball mixture into balls of about 1 inch in diameter.
  8. Melt some cooking fat over a medium high heat in a skillet. Sauté the meatballs until browned on all sides and set aside. You may have to work in batches.
  9. In a large pot, add the pork meat, the meatballs and the broth.
  10. Add the cinnamon, clove, and allspice, and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  11. Dissolve the tapioca starch in an equal amount of cold water, then thicken the sauce by adding 1 tbsp. of tapioca/water at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
  12. Cook the ragout 20 to 25 minutes and serve.

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