Veal Blanket (Blanquette de veau)

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As the fall is providing its beautiful landscapes, offering amazing color palettes wherever you walk, drive, hike… The fall is also a little cold-ish, wet-ish and soon enough we are looking for comfort with warm flavorful dishes to share with familiar faces.

Here is my mum signature dish: the veal blanket. It has such name because this dish, is a white stew. The pieces of top-quality veal are presented in a creamy white sauce that has a little dash of lemon.

Since I developed my practice of this recipe, and following my husband’s refined taste, I have added a few carrots and mushrooms to the sauce. We usually serve this with basmati rice. We love the velvety taste of the sauce mixed with the rice… It works well too with linguini pasta, or boiled potatoes. Best to serve it with either a light pinot noir (chose a wine that claims the grapes were grown on the top of a hill, so it will not be too overwhelming), or a chablis (some chablis from Burgundy are exquisite… but we get into a pricey area).

Another variation, if you don’t have the budget to afford top veal meat is to practice the recipe using chicken. Just use boneless and skinless pieces of chicken, and cut them in stew size (1 square inch). Then follow the steps of the recipe, simply swapping the veal with the chicken. I made it, and it works.

Recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes, + 2 hours of simmering.
  • Serves 3 – 4

Ingredients:

  • Veal for stew: 1 pound
  • Carrots (peeled a sliced 1/4 inch): 2 large, or 4 medium
  • White mushroom: 1/2 pound (you can use 1 small size tinned button mushroom, make sure you rinse them well to get rid of the brine taste)
  • Chicken or Veal stock: 2 pints
  • Flour (or corn starch) 3 tble spoon
  • Butter: 3 tble spoon
  • Egg yolk: 1
  • Double cream: 2 tble spoon (Don’t use light or sour, it will ruin everything)
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Mix 1 spoon of flour (or starch) with the pieces of veal, coating evenly.
  2. In a large pot on warm fire, melt 1 spoon of butter. When hot, add the pieces of veal, spread evenly on the surface and let it color gently, stirring delicately for 5 to 8 minutes.IMG_1492
  3. When it reaches a golden color, add the carrots (peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch), and the mushroom cut in 1/2 inch pieces.
  4. Stir gently five minutes until the carrots color just a bit.IMG_1496
  5. Add the hot stock, half cup by half cup.
  6. Let your pot reach boiling point for 5 minutes and then turn the heat to medium low, to reach a simmering point.IMG_1501
  7. Cover and let your stew simmering for 2 hours.You can do this part the day before and continue from step 8, 1/2 hour before serving. In this case, you’ll need to re-heat your stew until simmering point to resume the recipe.
  8. Filter your stew, keeping meat and veggies on one side, and the stock on the other.
  9. In your pot, melt 2 spoon of butter, when melted, lower the heat to minimum and add 2 spoon of flour (or starch), whisk firmly.
  10. When well mixed a slightly dry, add a soup spoon of the hot stock, continue to whim firmly and bring the heat back to medium.
  11. Continue to whisk and when the sauce thickens, add 1 by one the soup-spoon of hot stock  taking care of letting the mix thickening before adding the next spoon of stock (This is very similar as doing a béchamel, and this step requires practice).IMG_1503
  12. Once you’ve done about a pint of sauce, add the double cream, while still stirring.
  13. Stop the heat and add the egg yolk. Stir firmly to mix the yolk evenly in the sauce.
  14. End with the lemon juice.
  15. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  16. Transfer the meat and veggies in a dish, pour the sauce over and serve immediately with a dish of basmati rice.
  17. ET VOILA!IMG_1508
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