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Veal Blanquette

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 10 HRS 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • MAKE-AHEAD

At Mirabeau in Dana Point, California, David Pratt's version of this traditional creamy stew makes you feel like you've never tasted it before. Do you need to soak the veal in milk overnight as Pratt does? No, but this step does make the meat especially tender and moist.

  1. 1 1/2 pounds trimmed veal shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 4 thyme sprigs
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 medium onion, chopped
  9. 1 small carrot, chopped
  10. 1 small celery rib, chopped
  11. 1/2 cup Cognac
  12. 1 cup dry white wine
  13. 1 cup heavy cream
  14. 1 cup water
  15. 1 large parsley sprig, plus 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  16. 1 pound button mushrooms, stemmed, stems reserved
  17. 1 pint pearl onions
  18. 4 large egg yolks
  19. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. In a large, shallow dish, combine the veal, milk, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the veal from the milk and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the thyme and bay leaves. In a large saucepan or pot, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add half of the veal, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a large plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the remaining veal.
  3. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the same pan and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the veal and any juices to the pan. Add the Cognac and simmer over moderately high heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the cream and 3/4 cup of the water and bring to a simmer. Tie the reserved thyme and bay leaves and the parsley sprig into a bundle and add to the stew along with the mushroom stems. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until the veal is tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the pearl onions in their skins over moderate heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the onions, leaving them whole.
  5. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Add the mushroom caps and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and simmer for 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour the mushroom liquid into the stew.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the veal to a bowl. Strain the sauce, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the sauce to the pan. Put the egg yolks in a small heatproof bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot sauce, then whisk in 1 cup of the sauce. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the sauce in the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 5 minutes; do not boil. Add the lemon juice, veal, pearl onions and mushroom caps and season with salt and pepper. Rewarm the stew over low heat, stirring; do not let it come to a boil. Spoon the stew into bowls, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 5 a day ahead. Cool and refrigerate the stew. Refrigerate the pearl onions and mushrooms separately. Serve With Boiled potatoes or noodles or steamed rice.

Suggested Pairing

A tart, earthy but light red will contrast with the mild flavors in this savory veal stew. Try a fruity Pinot Noir—based Côte de Nuits-Villages from France's Burgundy region.