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Blanquette, from blanc, the french word for white, is a superb dish of meltingly tender veal cubes in a sauce made with a white roux, cream and eggs. Blanquette de veau is a classic of French culinary heritage and is certainly not difficult to make. It is a lovely, delicate dish and you should only make it with a veal of excellent quality. Blanquettes are usually served with all white accompaniments such as plain white rice or boiled new potatoes.

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note on cooking veal:
Veal tends to release a huge amount of gray scum when it comes to a simmer and this needs to be removed. There are a few ways to deal with this problem. The most common is to skim continuously while the veal simmers, but this method requires you to stand in front of the stove for about 45 minutes skimming off, not the best use of your time, so I find that the blanching method that I propose below is the easiest and works incredibly well. And you have 45 free minutes to use as you please, way better.

img_8755Serves 6

Ingredients:

800 g / 1 lb 13 oz boneless veal shoulder, cut into 3 cm / 1 1/4 “cubes
1 litre / 4 cups veal stock
4 cloves
1 large onion, peeled
1 medium carrot, cut into large rounds
1 leek, white part only, cut into 2 pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 2 pieces
1 bouquet garni
30 g / 2 tablespoons butter
30 g / 1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons thick/ heavy/ double cream
Fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish

250 g / 9 oz pearl onions, defrosted
15 g / 1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar

150 g / 6 oz button mushrooms, trimmed (cut into quarters if large)
15 g / 1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Preparation:

Place the veal in a large dutch oven or saucepan, I use my trusty Le Creuset, cover with cold water and bring to a boil
Drain the veal and rinse it under cold water
Rinse out the pan and return the veal to it
Pour in the stock to cover the veal by at least 1 1/2 cm / 1/2″
Press the cloves into the onion
Add the onion, carrot, leek, celery stalk and bouquet garni
Bring to the boil, cover, and allow to simmer very slowly for 45 to 60 minutes
Once tender, remove the meat and set aside
Discard the herbs and vegetables and reserve the veal stock
While the veal is cooking you can prepare the onions and mushrooms
If using frozen pearl onions, place in a saucepan with the butter and sugar and cook for 5 minutes
If using fresh pearl onions, peel them then place in pan with butter and sugar and cover with water, simmer for 20 minutes, drain and set aside
Place the mushrooms in another pan with the butter, lemon juice and water and simmer for about 5 minutes, drain and set aside
To the make the roux, heat the 2 tablespoons butter in a pan over medium heat
Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously for 3 minutes
Remove from the heat and slowly add the reserved stock, whisking well after each addition
Return to the heat and and whisk until the sauce comes to a boil
Reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture reduces and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 8 minutes
Add the lemon juice and season to taste
Quickly stir in the egg yolk and cream
Add all to the veal along with the onions and mushrooms
Reheat gently, do not allow to boil
Sprinkle with parsley
Serve immediately
Bon Appétit!

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