Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blanquette de veau à l'ancienne (old-fashioned french veal stew)

Cold weather makes me crave hearty, comforting food.
Lately, I've been trying to perfect a number of staple french dishes. Nothing like traditional stews, right?
My latest piece is a blanquette de veau à l'ancienne (translation: old-fashioned french veal stew).

INGREDIENTS (for 6 people):
- 1,2 kg cubed veal meat
- 2/3 big carrots
- 2 leeks (only the white part)
- 250g button mushrooms
- 1 large onion, stuck with 2 cloves
- 200g small onions ( I used spring onions)
- 60g butter
- 3 tbsp crème fraiche (thick cream is good too)
- 1 egg yolk
- 50g flour
- 1 bayleaf, 2 sprigs thyme
- juice of a lemon (to taste)
- salt
- 10 black pepper corns

- Put the meat and the "cloved" onion in a large pan, and cover with cold water. Add some salt, and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes and remove the froth that will form at the surface.
- Meanwhile, peal the carrots, and cut them in big chunks. Wash the leeks, and tie them together with the bayleaf and thyme. Add everything to the boiling meat, as well as the 10 pepper corns. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Peel the small onions, and cook them for 10 minutes in salted boiling water.
- Clean the mushrooms, and cut them in half (or quarts, depending on the size). Sauté them in a pan with a little butter. Salt, and put aside.
- Strain the meat and vegetables, but filter and keep the broth. You will need 50cl of the broth to make the sauce, but put the rest inthe fridge; it will be useful when you want to heat up the leftovers.
- Melt the 60 g butter in a pan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the filtered broth progressively, stirring continously until the sauce is smooth. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. 
- Add the meat and vegetables to the sauce again (after removing the string from the leeks), and heat gently. 
- Just before serving, add the egg yolk to the crème fraiche, and stir the mixture into the dish.
- Serve with white rice, fresh pasta or boiled potatoes. My favorite is white rice.
- Bon appétit! ;)


  1. 3+ pans for a stew, that's really french!

    Looks great, I'll try it myself as soon as I have time.

  2. LOL Mattijs! only 2 pans, really.... If you do try it, let me know how you liked it!