Embrace the fall with a hearty ragout

By Jim Bailey

The fall is the perfect time of year for a ragout of this caliber! Ragouts are usually heavily spiced and is usually considered a stew but I took this one step further, transforming this into a substantial meal with just the right amount of spice.

2 links sweet or hot Italian sausage, sliced and halved

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound potatoes, diced small
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup whole kernel corn
1 large, hard, tart apple, peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon each salt and cracked black pepper

In a large skillet over medium high heat, sausage, cooking and turning until completely cooked through.

Remove sausage and set aside.

Add oil until hot, then add potatoes, onion, bell pepper, corn and apple, stirring to combine well. Reduce heat to medium and cover.

Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, whisk ketchup, mustard, water and hot sauce; set aside.

When potatoes are ready, remove lid and add sausage back into the pan along with ketchup mixture. Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer while making polenta.

Bring water and milk to a boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan. Slowly stream the cornmeal into water mixture with one hand and whisk with the other, until all cornmeal has been added. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in salt and pepper

To serve, ladle a third of the polenta on a plate along with a third of the ragout.

Repeat with 2 additional plates and serve hot.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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