Ragoût Fermier - Farmer's Stew
There's a quote that resonated with me by Chef Julia Child that really hit home for me all those years ago. She said, "Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon, or not at all." This is the classic example of carpe diem: Seize the day! Cooking should be embraced and should never have any fear in doing so. There is a lot of love to experience in cooking and it can be a very enjoyable adventure.
Ive created a guideline, of sorts, for this recipe. This leaves YOU in charge of a few avenues to decide on. You can utilize a variety or just one protein (or protein replacement) for this. You do not have to commit to just one particular red wine. And, you also do not have to use wine at all, if you can't have it. This is a great dish that let's you take charge and make it your own. This can be easily adapted for all walks of life. Whether you are omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan, it really doesnt matter - you can adapt this recipe very easily to your own liking. That is the embodiment of what Julia Child taught.
1lb/453g Choice of protein (Beef, Chicken, Pork, ground or small bite sized) (Can use mushrooms or lentils instead)
1lb/453g Mirepoix (Carrots, Celery, and Onions), small diced
40oz Tomato Sauce or Choice of Soup Stock (or combined)
8oz/227g Potato, small diced
4-6oz Stewed Tomatoes, hand-crushed
4oz Choice of Red Wine
.50oz Garlic, pureed
Onion Powder - to taste
Kosher Salt - to taste Black Pepper - to taste Herbs de Provence - to taste
Fresh Thyme - to taste
Prep all of your ingredients ahead of time as this is a staged recipe.
In a soup pot on medium-high heat, add a little olive oil and dump your mirepoix and potatoes. Stir routinely to avoid burning. Add your kosher salt and black pepper and toss to coat. Add your Herbs de Provence and onion powder next and again, toss to coat. Cook this for approximately 5 to 7 minutes
Add your choice of protein. If you are using ground proteins, break it up in the pot.
Add your garlic and begin mixing together. You will be developing a fond at the bottom of the pot. Continue to stir for another five minutes.
Once you see a fond developing, add your wine to deglaze the pan. Stir the mixture well for about two minutes.
Add your tomato sauce and/or stock. Mix well and taste test to determine if you need to make adjustments to your seasonings
Add your stewed tomatoes - hand-crush right into the pot. You can use as much or as little you want. Bring this back up to temperature for a couple of minutes and then remove from heat.
Garnish with fresh thyme
Pan-fry up some bread in olive oil, butter, kosher salt and black pepper until crisped for dunking into the stew.