When thinking of stews, most people think of these as winter foods but a traditional veal blanquette is not just a stew. This recipe is part of French culinary heritage and was voted favourite before other classics such as beef bourguignon, coq au vin, and mussels.
What makes a blanquette different
Larousse Gastronomique defines a blanquette as the French term for a râgout of white meat cooked in a white stock or water with aromatic flavours.
To explain it simply; it is a white stew where the meat is not seared or browned but cooked in a white stock and thickened with a roux. Veal has delicate flavours which don’t need an array of extra ingredients.
The seasoning is a personal taste. We add curry to bring a touch of yellow to the cream, the mustard to boost the flavour of the sauce and the lemon juice for the acidity contrast.
Veal blanquette is a creamy but subtle dish which is comforting, but also refined. Other than with the usual stews, this dish is perfect for any season!
Related: How to make a roux
For the sauce
For the garnish
- 200 gr champignons
- Carrot and celery from the stock pot
Prepare the meat
- Place the veal cubes in a large cooking pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes. Skim possible impurities from the surface of the water and drain the veal cubes. Drain when blanched.
- Return the veal cubes to the cooking pot together with all the other aromatic ingredients and a good pinch of salt. Cover with cold water and simmer for 45-50 minutes until the meat is soft and tender.
- Boil the champignons in a saucepan in 100 ml of veal stock for 3 minutes, keep aside.
Make the sauce
- Measure 600 ml of strained mushroom stock and veal stock and bring to the boil.
- Shred the roux with a cheese grater and gently whisk into the veal stock. Stir constantly until the sauce reaches boiling point to ensure a smooth velouté sauce.
- Add the cream and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt, white ground pepper, Dijon mustard, curry powder and lime juice.
Finish the dish
- Add the cooked veal, carrots, celery and mushrooms into the sauce, gently stir to coat all ingredients.
- Serve the blanquette with the boiled stock vegetables.
- If you are using crème fraîche or double cream it is not necessary to add lemon juice as these creams are already acidic.