Friday, September 23, 2011

Blanquette de Veau (Creamy veal stew)


700 g (25 oz.) veal flank 
3 large onions or 18 pearl onions 
18 button mushrooms 
1 carrot 
1 stalk celery 
2 sprigs thyme, 
2 bay leaves 
2 T. butter 
2 T. canola oil 
1 Cup heavy cream 
1 C veal stock (chicken if necessary) 
1⁄4 C dry white wine 
1⁄2 C chopped fresh parsley


Large-dice the veal and toss evenly with flour, discarding excess. Heat wide, deep frypan or cast iron stewing pot and add oil, then veal without crowding in pan. Brown lightly all sides about 10 minutes, rotating. If pan bottom holds dark brown bits, but nothing burnt, remove meat from pan to bowl, pour off excess oil if necessary (0r blot out with paper towel) and add wine. Simmer 2 minutes, then replace meat in pan and cover with cream, herbs, and stock. If you have veal bones but no stock and no time, at least brown the bones and simmer with the meat. Salt meat lightly. 

Start simmering veal while beginning vegetable preparation:

Large dice large onions or trim pearl onions, leaving whole. In another wide saucepan, melt the butter and add onions. Start sweating over low heat, covered. Meanwhile, dice celery and add. Trim carrots into large dice or wedges and add. Quarter mushrooms and add. If pan is dry by this point, sprinkle with a little olive oil. Salt lightly and bring all vegetables to simmer. Pour veggies over meat and cover, simmering on low heat with lid about 20 minutes, then lid off to thicken sauce another 20 minutes. If pot is getting dry, add a little cold water. If meat and veggies are tender, but sauce is too abundant and too runny, remove all solids from pot and simmer sauce down till thick enough to coat back of spoon. Add parsley during last couple of minutes of cooking, and season with more salt and pepper before serving. 

Optionally, serve with boiled fingerling potatoes. 

Wine Suggestions:
Light reds: Brouilly, Moulin-a-Vent, Anjou-villages

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