This is a very traditional dish, a veal casserole, where the veal is cooked with vegetables in a light stock and then at the end a very creamy sauce is made up and the whole thing gets mixed together.
- 500 g shoulder of veal
- 500 g belly of veal
- 1 leek
- 1 celery stick
- 3 carrots (battoned)
- 2 onions
- 150 g white mushrooms (sliced)
- soup spoon of flour
- 80 g butter
- 200 g crème fraiche/double cream
- 50g rice
- We start in the traditional manner, the stock made tasty with the use of lots of vegetables, leeks, celery, carrots and onions and they all go into a pot of cold water, with the shoulder and belly of veal, cut into quite big chunks.
- Add a little bit of thyme and a bay leaf, put the lid on, bring it to the boil and then let it simmer for about an hour-and-a-half. After that we strain off the lovely tasty stock, which is going to be the base for our sauce.
- We want to separate out the meat and the carrots from the rest of the ingredients of the stock. We are going to serve the meat and the carrots in our final version, but not the leeks and the onion. They were just there to give everything a nice taste.
- The meat will be lovely and soft and melting and you need to cover it at this stage to stop it drying out.
- Now we put the stock back on the heat to reduce a little bit. Let it simmer away for about five minutes.
- Then you make a roux, which is equal quantities of flour and butter cooked in a separate pan.
- When you've made the roux, you slowly pour the veal stock into it, stirring carefully to make sure there are no lumps.
- Simmer it a little so that it thickens and to finish off the sauce, you put some cream in there. Traditionally you also add egg yolks, but you can't reheat it then, or the eggs will curdle, so I just leave them out. If you were making the traditional dish, you would stop at this point and serve it.
- For my deconstructed version, you keep the meat and the carrots apart. You cut them both into quite small bite-sized pieces.
- So, to construct our deconstructed blanquette de veau, we put cooked rice into individual serving dishes and put a layer of poached carrots on top and a layer of veal on top of that.
- The advantage of this is that the meal can be prepared in advance and just heated up in the oven before serving. If you are doing that, keep back a little of the stock before you make the sauce, so that it can be poured over the pots to keep them moist when they go into the oven.
- Then fry a few mushrooms until they are golden brown and place them on top. Then you can either put the lids on the little casseroles and serve them like that, or you can put a little of the sauce over them. The quantity does not seem great, but the whole point is the lovely creamy sauce, which people pour over as much as they want.
Trish's notes: I find that sometimes when I cook it, it is drowned in sauce and occasionally without enough sauce and it's dried up. This version cooks to a certain stage, to which you would normally cook it and then I stop it, pull out all the elements and serve them in different layers.
More by Trish Deseine:
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- Recipe: Trish Deseine, Durrus Tartiflette, Today
- Moroccan Lamb