The term ragout (French ragoût) can refer either to a main-dish stew or to a sauce for noodles or other starchy foods. (Italian ragù, such as Bolognese sauce, are typically used to dress pasta.)

The basic method of preparation involves slow cooking over a low heat. The potential ingredients are many: ragouts may be prepared with or without meat, a wide variety of vegetables may be incorporated, and they may be more or less heavily spiced and seasoned.


Etymology: from the French ragoûter, to revive the taste.


Two eighteenth-century English dishes from The Compleat Housewife show some of the varying meats, vegetables, seasonings, garnishes and procedures which can be applied to the ragout.
A Ragoo for made Dishes
TAKE claret, gravy, sweet-herbs, and savoury spice, toss up in it lamb-stones, cock’s-combs, boiled, blanched, and sliced, with sliced sweet-meats, oysters, mushrooms, truffles, and murrels; thicken these with brown butter; use it when called for.

To make a Ragoo of Pigs-Ears
TAKE a quantity of pigs-ears, and boil them in one half wine and the other water; cut them in small pieces, then brown a little butter, and put them in, and a pretty deal of gravy, two anchovies, an eschalot or two, a little mustard, and some slices of lemon, some salt and nutmeg: stew all these together, and shake it up thick. Garnish the dish with barberries.


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