FoodFrench ragoût: Hearty recipe for a savory pork shoulder stew

French ragoût: Hearty recipe for a savory pork shoulder stew

French ragout - you'll love it!
French ragout - you'll love it!
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Sławomir Fajer

7:02 PM EDT, May 26, 2024

When I feel like something really filling, I go for a tried-and-true recipe for French ragoût. How do you prepare it? Well, if you've ever cooked a stew, you’ll definitely handle this without any problems. So, roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Ragoût, stroganoff, stew—these seemingly similar dishes visit my kitchen from time to time, especially when I want to cook something delicious in advance, either out of desire or necessity. Today, let’s focus on the first one mentioned. And first, let’s learn to distinguish the French ragoût (according to some sources, the history of this dish dates back to the 17th century) from the Italian ragù.

What’s the difference between these two culinary terms? Primarily, ragù is a sauce made from ground meat and vegetables, very often tomatoes. This probably sounds familiar to you already. The very popular and beloved in Poland Bolognese is nothing more than ragù, and in proper Italian restaurants, it is called that. Meanwhile, ragoût is the aforementioned stew—in the French style, slowly cooked, sometimes without meat, and sometimes with. The latter can be eaten alone or with a starchy side. And don’t forget to add red wine to it.

That’s basically it for the theory. Although there are a multitude of different recipes for ragoût—chicken, pork, mushroom, rabbit—I prefer pork shoulder. Below, I present a tried-and-true recipe. Good luck!

Pork Shoulder Ragoût


  • 1.76 lbs pork shoulder
  • 3.5 oz bacon
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 7 oz mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 6.8 fl oz vegetable broth
  • 3.4 fl oz tomato purée
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A few grains allspice
  • A few bay leaves
  • Provençal herbs
  • Caraway
  • Sweet paprika
  • Salt, pepper
  • 3.4 fl oz dry red wine
  • Oil for frying


French ragout resembles the well-known goulash.
French ragout resembles the well-known goulash.© Canva | Servet photograph
  1. Cut the pork shoulder into medium-sized cubes. Sprinkle it with sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Peel and chop the onion. Press the garlic through a press. Cut the bacon into small cubes, the mushrooms into half-slices, and the bell pepper into small pieces.
  2. Start by sautéing the bacon in a pot. Then add the pork shoulder, and after a few minutes, the vegetables and mushrooms. Do not cover, fry for about 10 minutes.
  3. After this time, add wine, broth, and tomato purée to the meat. Season with the remaining spices, including bay leaves and allspice. Cook for around 50 minutes.
  4. Serve with pearl barley, potatoes, couscous, or your favorite side. Enjoy!
Related content