When it’s cold and miserable outside, a hearty, comforting, rich stew can be just what the doctor ordered. Typically I would think of beef, cooked slowly, immersed in full bodied red wine sauce with lashings of creamy mashed potato. Quintessential Winter fare indeed. (Recipe for my Family Beef Stew with Marmite Toasts here!)
But a ‘Blanquette’ is a different kind of stew. A simple explanation is that it is a white stew, meaning the meat is not browned but cooked in a white stock and thickened with a roux and egg yolks. Veal is a delicately flavoured meat which doesn’t want to be overwhelmed with other rich ingredients.
A blanquette is subtle. Aromatic with herbs and deliciously creamy, it is comforting in the way a stew should be whilst somehow seeming more refined. Maybe thats because it seems more complex, or maybe just because it’s so fabulously French and has an exotic name!
So if you are looking for new inspiration when it comes to your usual winter stew, look no further than this posh veal version. Packed with chunks of tender tasty veal and smothered in mellow velvety sauce, it is hearty and filling and elegant too!
Blanquette de Veau
(Serves 4 generously)
750g veal cut into chunks (shoulder is good for this)
600ml veal stock (or use chicken stock)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bouquet garni
2 onions, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
60g plain flour
7-8 mushrooms, sliced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 egg yolks
a handful of chopped fresh parsley
Serve with rice
Make sure your veal is cut into nice medium sized chunks and remove any grizzly bits you come across. Remember the end result of this stew should be as tender and soft as can be. Place the veal chunks straight into a heavy based saucepan and cover with the stock. Throw in the chopped garlic, onions and bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for 50 minutes.
Then add your chopped leek, celery and carrot. Re-cover and cook for another 45 minutes.
In another saucepan, melt your butter and add your flour. Stir well to make a smooth paste and let it cook gently for a few minutes. Once your meat is cooked, drain the liquid into a jug, reserving the meat and vegetables of course! Make the liquid up to 500ml if there is less with boiling water. Then pour this into your roux, stirring continuously until you have a creamy smooth sauce.
Meanwhile, sauté your sliced mushrooms in a small frying pan in a little butter for 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice.
In a bowl, stir your 2 egg yolks into the cream until well mixed. With the pan off the heat, slowly pour in the egg and cream mixture into your creamy sauce, whisking all the time until you achieve a velvety creamy sauce.
Then add your meat and mushrooms into the sauce and re-heat ever so gently for a few minutes just to bring back to temperature. Serve over rice with some chopped parsley.
I am entering this comforting dish into a few challenges. Firstly, #ShopLocal hosted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary as this veal came from my local farmer friends at Grasspunk.
Also, I am entering into Karen’s Cooking With Herbs Challenge over on Lavender & Lovage.
And last but not least, my very own Four Seasons Food Challenge with the theme ‘Food From The Heart’ as this stew was most certainly comfort food make on a cold day to make my family happy. Hosted by Louisa from Eat Your Veg on alternate months.
14 thoughts on “Blanquette de Veau (Creamy Veal Stew)”
Yum! I love vlanquette de beau. Yours looks really delicious – perfect for a cold Sunday lunch…
Thanks Fiona. I love it too…I really should make it more often. Veal is so delicious and tender cooked this way. xx
Hi Anneli- Blanquette de Veau was one dish we learned at the Basic Le Cordon Bleu school. I’ve been meaning to make it again, but veal here in Australia seems to be a bit different than in France (seems like it is more like ‘plain old’ beef). At the end of the day, it’s that nice gloopy sauce that makes it taste so good!
Hi Fran. How strange that veal is not really the same as it is here. But you are right, the creamy sauce makes the dish so lovely. It’s such a nice alternative to the typical beef stews of winter. x
Lovely recipe Anneli, I’ve never actually made a Blanquette de Veau but have eaten a few and it’s always very delicious. And I agree, it’s definitely a more refined stew and a good deal more special than my usual chuck it all in winter one pots! Delish.
Hi lovely! It was pretty easy to make and I am sure this is one kids would like with all the creamy sauce. If you give it a go, I am sure you will not be disappointed 🙂 Lots of love to you and the kids xx
Nice to see it properly made – you inspire me to do it right. Looks lovely – and I need to get some of that rice, I’m out. (I recognize it LOL)
Ha!! The rice is lovely isn’t it! Works perfectly with this dish with the colours and contrast to the creamy whiteness of a blanquette. xx
This is a dish I haven’t made but would certainly be appropriate for our cold winter season. Thank you for the inspiration.
Thanks Karen, it is a great Winter warmer. Can’t beat comfort food when it’s cold outside! x
I DO love a classic Blanquette de Veau and yours looks just amazing Anneli! Thanks for adding it to Cooking with Herbs! Karen
Thanks Karen. Classic and delicious. Always a winner. x
Grasspunk is becoming a well known name to me thanks to your fab veal recipes – if I ever see their brand while out shopping I will be thinking of you! Thanks for linking up again with Shop Local 🙂
Thanks Elizabeth. Yes, Grasspunk is a memorable name isn’t it! Happy to take part and shout about wonderful local produce when I can! x
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