While it may sound like “ragu,” ragout is a bit different from the classic meaty Italian sauce we associated with spaghetti Bolognese. Ragout is a type of rich French stew made with meat and vegetables. It's slow-cooked to make a hearty dish that is full of flavor. There are endless variations you can make – with meat, without, fish, chicken, and you can use whatever vegetables you prefer – or whatever is in season! Beef ragout is a fantastic dish to make when the weather starts to turn cold. It's a delicious comfort dish you can tailor to your family's taste and makes a great recipe you can make ahead and reheat when the mood strikes.
– Keep things easy for yourself by cooking your ragout in a slow cooker. To make a slow cooker ragout, follow the recipe as outlined below then set your slow cooker to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
– Beef, lamb, chicken, game, and even fish can all be used in a ragout.
– Don't eat meat? Not a problem. You can make a vegetarian ragout by leaving out the beef and using lentils or more veggies instead.
– Feel free to add other vegetables to your ragout. Beans, potatoes, eggplant, celery, and squash are all killer additions, but you can use anything you like.
– Like a bit of heat? Add some red chili flakes or sliced chili to your stew.
– Serve your homemade beef ragout over rice, pasta, couscous, quinoa, or polenta, with a light green salad as a side dish. Don't forget a few slices of French bread or fresh dinner rolls to help you mop up the sauce!
Transfer leftover ragout to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. For long-term storage, freeze ragout for up to 3 months.
Preheat your oven to 325°F.
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic for several minutes until the onions turn soft and begin to brown. Transfer to a casserole dish.
Add the beef, reserved tomato juice, salt, pepper, and bay leaves to the casserole dish. Stir to combine then wrap with foil and bake for 1 ½ hours.
Remove from oven and add in carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, green pepper, and paprika, stirring to combine. Cover and bake for another hour, until beef is tender. Remove from the oven and take out the bay leaves.
Whisk water and flour in a cup. Pour it into the beef mixture then cover and bake for 15 more minutes to thicken.
Use a 13×9 inch casserole dish for this recipe.