This casserole was our family’s favourite in France and when I cannot get white veal in New Zealand, I prepare it with pork or lamb. Often axoa will be prepared from coarsely minced veal, making a bolognaise-like casserole. Either way, mashed potatoes are a great partner.
|1 ½ kgs||Veal, shoulder is best as you need some fat to carry the flavour (Main)|
|1 tsp||Flaky sea salt, less if finely milled|
|½ tsp||Ground pepper, use up to 1 tsp, white or black|
|1 tsp||Piment d'espelette, or use paprika and a good pinch of chilli powder|
|¼ cup||Olive oil, use up to 1/3 cup|
|1 large||Onion, peeled and finely chopped|
|1||Red capsicum, use 2 if desired, diced; deep, ripe red ones are best|
|8||Green chillies, use up to 10, deseeded and sliced|
|4 large||Garlic cloves, use up to 6, peeled and sliced|
|1 ½ cups||Veal, or use chicken stock, water and stock cubes are fine (Main)|
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- Heat the oven to 160C.
- Cut the meat in chunky-sized pieces and, with your hands, massage the salt, pepper and piment d'espelette into the meat – a dash of oil will help the process.
- Heat half the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, capsicum, chilli and garlic over a moderate heat until the vegetables have wilted. Transfer to a casserole.
- Brown the veal in the remaining oil until just golden brown. This will be best done in batches to ensure the meat browns to a caramel colour which will add great flavour to the dish.
- Pour the stock into the pan, stirring over a low heat to lift any sediment from the pan. Add to the casserole and cover.
- Cook in the preheated oven for about 1 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. Stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Make it in the slow cooker
Brown the ingredients as above and transfer to a slow cooker. Cook on low for about 6 hours until tender. Cooking on high is not recommended for lean veal which can become tough and stringy. Shoulder pork, beef or lamb can better tolerate a higher temperature where cooking time will be about 3-4 hours.