Ragout bordelaise

By Wendy Andresen | Nov 28, 2019
Photo by: Wendy Andresen Big chunks of crusty bread are also sublime for sopping up the sauce.

I was pleased to find three brands of plant-based sausages in the meat case at the local supermarket, in addition to the usual ones in the produce aisle. I usually make my own (see March 15, 2018), but I decided to sample the frozen ones and was pleasantly surprised. I used the spicy Italian style, but suit yourself. You could use more than the amount specified here if you prefer a meatier dish. Personally, I’m all about the vegetables. I like leaving the mushrooms whole, but you may slice large ones in half or even slice all of them if that’s your style. A ragout is a highly seasoned combination of meat and vegetables in a thick sauce, and bordelaise sauce traditionally contains red wine and onions. This recipe combines the best of both. You may want some grain on the side, such as farro, barley, or polenta.


2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 large plant-based sausages, such as Beyond Meat

1 large onion, chopped

10 ounces baby bella mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 cup dry red wine

3 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. gravy base, such as Gravy Master

1 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. 5-spice powder

1 tsp. salt or more, to taste

Several grinds of black pepper

5 ounces baby spinach


1. Slice the sausages diagonally into several pieces. This provides the most surface area for browning. In a sauté pan, brown the sausage pieces on both sides in 1 Tbsp. olive oil and remove them to a plate. The sausages may slice more neatly if they’re partially frozen.

2. Add 1 Tbsp. more olive oil to the sauté pan. Cook the onions and mushrooms on medium heat until the onions are slightly caramelized and the mushrooms begin to give off their juice. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

3. Add the wine, tomato paste, brown sugar, gravy base, rosemary, 5-spice powder, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook and stir gently until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for a minute or two, until wilted. Then return the sausage pieces to the pan and reheat.

4. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if desired.

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