Recipe: Blanquette de veau

By Grant Allen

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Blanquette de Veau is a French dish in which the meat is not browned. Photo / Doug Sherring
Blanquette de Veau is a French dish in which the meat is not browned. Photo / Doug Sherring

This French classic is meant to be pale in appearance. Add plate colour with your vegetables. Don't scatter it with parsley, enjoy the velvety texture with some baby carrots, fennel and plain rice.

Serves four generously, with leftovers.

1kg of diced veal
12 button mushrooms
12 pickling onions
1 carrot, 1 stick of celery and 1 small onion, peeled and studded with 6 cloves.
A bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, parsley stalks and thyme sprigs tied into a little bundle with string)
2 tbsp of butter

1 In separate small pots cover the peeled onions and mushrooms in cold water, adding a tablespoon of butter to each. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Set aside to cool in the liquid.

2 In a large pot, cover the diced veal with cold water, add the carrot, celery, studded onion and bouquet garni. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook gently for around two hours. Skim off any debris that sits on the top and add more cold water if required to keep the meat well covered.

The meat must be fork tender.

3 Strain the veal and set aside. Keep all the poaching liquid warm in a fresh pot. Discard the onion, carrot, celery and bouquet garni.

To assemble

1 Rinse out the large pot you poached the veal in.

2 Melt 2 tbsp of butter.

3 Whisk in 4 tbsp of flour.

4 Add the warm poaching liquid bit by bit till you have a spoon-coating sauce.

5 Add the veal, strained mushrooms and baby onions back into this. Warm together and if too thick add a little more of the poaching liquid. The ingredients should be just swimming in the pot, but not drowning.

6 Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm on a gentle heat.

To serve

1 Whisk together 1 egg yolk and ¼ cup of cream.

2 Swirl this mix into the warm blanquette, mix together well, finish with a squeeze of lemon and serve.

- Herald on Sunday

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