blanquette de veau
Blanquette de Veau (French Veal Stew)
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 35 mins

Recipe slightly adapted from one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, France: The Beautiful Cookbook - Authentic Recipes from the Regions of France by The Scotto Sisters and Gilles Pudlowski.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6
Author: Jill Colonna
  • 1.5 kg (3.5 lb) veal mixture of breast & shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves
  • bouquet garni 1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1 leek white part only, sliced
  • 2 carrots cut into chunks
  • 250 ml / 9 fl oz white wine
  • 150 g / 5.5 oz crème fraîche
  • 2 large egg yolks or 3 medium
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • grated zest of half lemon unwaxed
  1. Stud the onion with the cloves.  Place the veal in a casserole dish and add the carrots, onion, leek and bouquet garni.  Pour in the wine and add just enough water to cover the meat and vegetables.  Bring to the boil, skimming the surface for the first 10 minutes of any scum.  Cover and simmer gently for 2.5 hours.
  2. About 45 minutes before the end of cooking, prepare the garnish. Wash mushrooms, pat dry and cut into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Fry them at first without any oil or butter (my tip – not in the original recipe!) in a non-stick pan until they have given out all of their juices. This concentrates their flavour. THEN add 25g of the butter and the lemon juice to them and set aside. Sauté the onions in a small pan with the rest of the butter until golden.
  3. Lift the lid of the casserole dish and smell these flavours! Discard the bay leaf and thyme stalks. Remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large serving dish, adding the mushrooms and pickling onions. Set aside and keep warm in a cool-moderate oven.
  4. Boil the cooking liquid over a high heat until reduced. Meanwhile, in a bowl, hand-whisk the crème fraîche, lemon zest, yolks, grated nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Blend in 3 tablespoons of the hot stock then quickly whisk in the yolk mixture back into the stock. Stir constantly until thickened but do not boil (it will reduce its subtle flavours). Whisk until the sauce is smooth and velvety.
Recipe Notes

Pour the sauce over the meat and serve with basmati or Thai rice. This dish is also lovely reheated the next day. For busy gourmets, this dish can be prepared the day before a dinner party. Just prepare steps one and two in advance, cool then chill in the fridge. Make the sauce on the day of serving and voilà!

Jill Colonna