Meatball ragout w/ Swiss chard

Surprise surprise! This one comes from Blue Apron, who still remains only an unofficial sponsor because they haven’t made me a suitable offer of dozens of dollars yet. Or any offer at all, to be honest. Patience, Ryan. Just like President Trump says, “art of the deal.”

When this came up on the delivery schedule, it was a no brainer up until I realized that Ragu and ragout are two completely different things. Ragu is a “sauce” in a jar that you can find in your grocer in a pinch. I’m not going to knock it. I spent years debating whether it was as good as or equal to Prego until I realized: “I don’t know, can’t tell and don’t care. It’s a jar of sauce. This isn’t important.”

In this case, a ragout is most definitely not Ragu: Old World Style. Ragout is a rustic stew of meat, herbs and vegetables, made thick by the use of a mixture of water and cornstarch, also known as a slurry.


And it’s all thanks to you, Li’l Lisa.

So if you’re up for trying something great, eat this! All of the ingredients together are great, but the highlight for me was the meatballs. The spice mixture that goes into the meat gives it a completely different flavor than what you’d expect in a meatball, which I believe stands out the most with the celery seed, marjoram and fennel.

But if you’re looking for meatballs and sauce (or gravy if you’re one of those people trying to be difficult), this isn’t for you. You’ve gone to the wrong page. Get out.


Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron
Serves 2
Blue Apron calories: About 550
MyFitnessPal calories: 665

10 Ounces Ground Beef
1 Carrot
1 Yellow Onion
1 Yukon Gold Potato
½ Bunch Swiss Chard
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Tablespoon Beef Demi-Glace
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
¼ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon Meatball Spice Blend (Onion Powder, Sweet Paprika, Ground Fennel Seed, Celery Seed, Garlic Powder, Whole Dried Marjoram, Ground Cayenne Pepper)

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the potato. Peel the carrot;thinly slice into rounds on an angle. Peel and halve the onion; cut into ½-inch-wide wedges. Separate the chard leaves and stems; roughly chop the leaves and thinly slice the stems, keeping them separate. To make the slurry, in a bowl, combine the cornstarch and ¼ cup of water; whisk until smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs and spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 12 to 14 equal-sized meatballs, each about 1 inch in diameter.

In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.

Add the potato to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Add the carrot, onion and chard stems to the pan of potato; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red and fragrant.

Add the browned meatballs, chard leaves, demi-glace and 1½ cups of water to the pan of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the slurry(stirring just before adding); season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened slightly and the meatballs are cooked through; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 bowls. Enjoy!


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