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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cook With Me: Blanquette de Veau for Jonell Galloway's The Rambling Epicure




Simple Ingredients and Time Are All You Need to Make a Superb Blanquette de Veau 

I jumped up to test this recipe for Jonell Galloway, who is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in French cuisine. Over at The Rambling Epicure she is writing a book called, The French and What They Eat. Details of the project are being fine-tuned. So stay-tuned. 

Merci, Jonell, for offering me this opportunity to be a petite part of your book development! I'd love to help again, if you need more testers! 

And since we're knee deep in talking about the thing we love most; cooking, France and her famous food, if you have a Teen interested in cuisine and in going to France, the Mother Lode and Birthplace of Cuisine, please sit down and take a look at our Figs, Foie Gras and Falconry Program offered this summer in Southwest France, Gascony. 

But now back to Blanquette, and to carrots in particular. 

video


Here is the line-up of our star-studded cast for the White Veal Stew with Apples, Carrots, and Onions. Please find the recipe below, and I hope you will try it, and see what you think! 


Oblique or Roll Cut Carrots


Ten Pounds of Provini Veal Shoulder


Five Honey Crisp Apples, Chopped


Two Large Yellow Onions, Chopped



Veal, Apples, Onions, and Carrots in my Le Creuset pot.




Salt and Pepper are the only seasonings, but just perfect! 


Jonell asked that these questions be answered.
  • Do the measurements work? Should there be more or less of something? Do they comply with American standards (cups, fluid ounces, etc.) that are easy to measure? Yes, very easy. Hardest part is getting the veal shoulder, which I did at our local butcher's Cliff's meat Market. It was a 10 pound shoulder that was frozen and chopped. 
  • Are there explanations that are not complete enough? What details would you add or delete? See Note in Recipe below.
  • Is the tone right for an American audience? Perhaps talk about the difference between French veal and American veal, both the product and the attitude about cooking with it.
  • Are any of the ingredients difficult to find where you live (this can depend on the season, of course)? Is there an ingredient you might replace with another one? I replaced the pearl onions with chopped yellow onions. I think this is what the average American would do, but maybe this is not your audience?
  • Is there anything that strikes you as so very French that you couldn’t possibly make it in the U.S.? No. 
  • Are there any ingredients or recipes that you think Americans wouldn’t like in general, for whatever reason? I wonder about the American sensitivity to Veal.
  • Are there any kitchen utensils or gadgets that you would recommend adding or that most American kitchens don’t have? No.
  • Is the seasoning right? Yes, its a perfect blend of sweet and meaty flavors. It's not traditional, but I added tarragon as a garnish instead of parsley because it was in my garden. 
  • Does the text flow? Is it presented in a logical manner? I changed out how the sauce was made. 
  • Is there anything that shocks you? No. Not at all!
  • I have not generally mentioned for how many people the recipe is developed because American portions are much larger than French ones. If you could give me your opinion about this, I’d appreciate it. You're right and the fact that I made ten pounds of veal doesn't help our reputation. I think the 2 pound version would serve six people, if it wasn't Halloween.
  • Are they too difficult? Are they so difficult that they overwhelm you? No! I love them! 
  • Are you pleased with the end result? Was it too much work? Pleased, yes. It is likely a four hour time investment. And for what you get, its very worth it. IMHO!  
  • Is the color pleasing? Is the texture pleasing? I think most Americans are not used to a "white" stew, so they might just need to be assured its ok and supposed to be the way it is.
  • Is the cooking time correct? It took me a little longer but then I made more than your recipe called for. I think for 2 pounds it is correct. 
  • Do you have any other suggestions? Add a little more information to the description of the recipe, as many Americans might not be familiar with it. 
Thank you!
Chartres-style Blanquette de Veau Recipe / Apple, onion, carrot and veal stew in apple juice and white sauce recipe

This dish hails from Normandy, where cream, butter, apples and calves are abundant. Chartres is not officially in Normandy, but its cuisine is similar.

by Jonell Galloway

1 kilogram or 2 pounds veal shoulder, cut into 2″ x 2″ pieces 
(I used 10 pounds as I was cooking for a crowd of well, 6 hungry feasters, on Halloween, and I wanted leftovers.)
12 pearl onions, or the white of 12 small spring onions, peeled and whole (I used two large onions chopped)
1 apple, chopped (I figured  was multiplying everything by 5, so I used 5 apples) 
4 carrots, cut into large chunks crosswise (I had large carrots so I used 12) 
Apple juice (I used 4 cups apple cider) 
Veal or chicken broth (chicken broth) 
6 small new potatoes in jacket ( I used about 15 "French fingerling", sliced in half)
4-5 tablespoons flour (10 tablespoons)
2-3 tablespoons butter (6 tablespoons) 
1/2 liter or 1 quart milk (1 quart)
Italian or flat parsley, chopped (I used fresh tarragon.)
Salt
Pepper
Dutch oven or similar large pan
  1. Put the veal pieces in Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onions, apple and carrots.
  3. Cover with half apple juice and half veal broth. Salt and pepper. 
  4. Simmer gently for 1 hour, then add the whole potatoes. 
  5. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
  6. Drain broth from meat and reserve it to make white sauce. (Instead I lifted out the meat and vegetables to a tian, cooled and refrigerated them while the sauce thickened and reduced.) 
  7. Melt butter in a large, deep frying pan or saucepan. When melted, gradually whisk in 3-4 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly until the roux starts to gently brown. (Instead I melted the butter and with  a fork, stirred in the flour.)
  8. Gradually whip (I might use a whisk if I did it this way.) in the milk until sauce starts to thicken. Continue whipping until all the milk is absorbed. It should be extra thick. If not, put one more tablespoon of flour into a ladle and add white sauce to ladle. Mix well to form a smooth paste, then whip this into white sauce.
  9. Gradually whip the broth from the stew into the white sauce. When smooth and thick, pour this back into the stew.
  10. Gently mix, turning the meat and vegetables over in white sauce.
  11. Simmer very gently for 5 minutes, stirring carefully so that meat and vegetables don’t fall apart.
  12. Serve, sprinkling with chopped parsley. (Because  I was cooking a larger quantity, I cooked it for about 2 hours. I think your timing is correct for the 2 pounds of veal. I also changed the next step and removed the meat and apples and onions from the broth and added in the milk, and while that was cool, added in the butter/flour mixture. This seemed easier t me than draining and using another pan. I let that simmer on medium low as it slowly thickened and reduced a bit. Then about an hour before company arrived I turned up the heat and reduced the sauce and thickened it to where I thought it should be, heavy cream consistency and added the halved potatoes and cooked them half way. At that point I added the stew parts back in and let the whole thin cook gently while we had aperitifs)  
Note: This is often served with rice. If you prefer rice, leave out the potatoes. Small turnips can also be added at the beginning, as well as other vegetables, according to taste.

My guests absolutely loved it! And to be truthful, I must admit that some had four servings. I had enough leftover from the dinner for four generous servings the next day. 

Merci, Jonell, for offering me this opportunity to be a petite part of your book development! I'd love to help again, if you need more testers! 

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