Ragout is such a bold word. When I first learnt about cooking and food terminology, this word stuck instantly. It means “stew” or more specifically “brown stew” and comes from the French word “ragouter”, meaning to revive taste. Thinking of stew I usually visualise a large pot with a rich and fragrant content, simmering gently on the stove top. The aromas filling the kitchenare complex and to pin point a single ingredient is almost impossible. Eventually, when tasting the first bite of the stew, your mouth wakes up, aromas explode into flavours and taste truly is revived once more. It’s maybe a bit dramatic, but they saylife is dull without a little drama and sometimes a plate of food needs some drama too.
I find cooking stews in the oven tend to work a lot easier than on the stove top – there’s less running back and forth stirring every 5 minutes. And planning is key when preparing a good stew as you need to have those two to three hours in which it can slowly braise at a gently temperature. Don’t rush it or you won’t be reviving any tastes any time soon!
I prepared a rich and flavourful venison ragout, adding ingredients like rosemary, clove and carrot. I started on the stove top and then transferred it to the oven. I cheated a little by buying spinach and fetaravioli to accompany the ragout, but chunky mashed potatoes, pasta and gnocchi or even steamed rice will work wonderfully with this stew.