Ragoût de boulettes is another traditional Christmas Eve dish in Quebec. It requires many steps and has a long, slow cooking time, but is not difficult to make.
Do it on cold winter’s day where you’re home poking around the house, and you’ll be rewarded by the warm, rich smells all day long.
Ragoût de boulettes
Start by Cooking the Pork Shanks
- 10 pork shanks
- 5 liters pork stock
Soak pork shanks in brine (2 cups of salt dissolved in 20 cups of water) for 3 hours before placing them in a large pot of simmering pork stock.
Simmer for at least 3 hours, or until the meat comes off the bone without falling to pieces. Set aside.
Over medium/low heat, reduce the broth by half to concentrate the flavour (but not too much, or the broth will be too salty from the brining step). Set aside.
Make the Meatballs
- 2 lb ground pork
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix ingredients together in a large bowl, then roll into 1 inch balls.
In a large skillet, saute meatballs until golden. Transfer them to the pot of simmering broth and cook for 5 minutes. Remove meatballs and set aside.
Potatoes and Onions
- 20 fingerling potatoes
- 20 pearl onions
Add the onions and the potatoes to the broth and cook until tender. Remove from broth and set aside.
Making the Sauce
Preheat oven to 400F. Sprinkle 1½ cups flour on a baking tray and place in the oven. Stir the flour every 5 minutes so that it roasts evenly. Roast the flour until dark brown.
Bring the broth to a boil again. Sprinkle in roasted flour and mix briskly with a whisk. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to thicken.
Reheat meatballs, potatoes and onions in the sauce, and then serve with marinated beets and pickles.