Blanquette de Veau Recipe from our New Languedoc Cooking Vacation
To the west of Provence is a destination not as well known, but no less beautiful. The Languedoc is a more rural part of France, and offers stunning vistas and charming villages, as well as plenty of fresh air. As for the food, it is, simply put, wonderful, and rich in tradition.
Chef Stéphane plays not only host, but also instructor in the kitchen. One such dish you may make during a culinary vacation to Languedoc includes blanquette de veau, which is a French veal ragout. The term ‘en blanquette’ actually means that both the veal and butter is not browned! Rather, it means that the white meat ragout is cooked in either a white stock, or water that has been flavored with aromatics.
So how is the sauce made then precisely? While this is better seen and experienced firsthand in the kitchen — during our French Gastronomy in the Parc des Cevennes culinary vacation — the sauce is made with a clear roux using cream and egg yolks… but some blanquette recipes forgo the roux all together.
Without further ado, here is Chef Stéphane’s recipe, which has a prep time of about 30 minutes, and cook time of one hour.
- 3 lbs veal (stew meat cut into 2-inch cubes)
- 1 onion
- 1 clone
- 1 or 2 carrots
- 18 white/pearl onions, peeled
- 1/2 lb mushrooms
- Herbs: 2 sprigs of thyme, 3 sprigs parsley, 1 rib of celery, and 1/2 bay leaf
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 6-7 cups of water
1. Prep some of the ingredients: Cut the veal into two-inch cubes, stick the onion with a clove, and then tie together the celery, thyme, bay, and parsley.
2. Start cooking! Melt three tablespoons of butter with oil in a dutch oven or casserole pan. Once warm, add the veal, and brown all sides.
3. To the pan, add the carrots, onions, salt, and herbs. Add water (so meat is covered).
4. Cook all of this over high heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
5. While that cooks, peel the white pearl onions; also clean the mushrooms, and cut them into quarters.
6. To a different pan/skillet, melt three tablespoons of butter, and then add in the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sautee until lightly browned.
7. Remove the mushrooms, and add in two more tablespoons of butter into the skillet. Next add the onions and sautee for 1 or 2 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the skillet, and keep it warm.
8. Next, in a bowl, put the egg yolks, along with the cream and half of the lemon juice.
9. Remove the meat from the pan and put in a serving dish. Add in the mushrooms and onions.
10. Using the dish where the meat was cooked, pour the cream with the egg-yolk into the meat juice. Cook this over very low heat for about 10 minutes, and do not let the sauce boil. Add in the lemon juice as well as the salt and pepper (if you’d like).
11. Pour the sauce over the meat in the dish, and it’s ready to enjoy!
This dish pairs wonderfully with rice à la créole, as well as vegetables that have been cooked in the meat. Chef Stéphane also recommends serving the blanquette de veau with either Chardonnay, La Marsanne, or Pinot Gris wine.
Want to learn more about the art of French cuisine? Join the chef and his partner Rip in the beautiful Cevennes area of the Languedoc region.
By Liz Hall
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