Blanquette de veau à l’ancienne

Serves 6-8 people.

3 lb of boneless veal in 2 inch chunks
6 cups of chicken stock, home made or canned
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 large onion, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
2 celery tops
1 leek
bouquet garni, salt, pepper

  • Blanch the veal: in a large casserole, cover the veal with cold water, bring it quickly to a boil, and let simmer for 1 minute before draining it in a large sieve.
  • Wash any residue off the pieces of meat under cold running water, scrub the casserole, and replace the veal in it.
  • Cover the veal with the chicken stock, and supplement the stock with water if necessary.
  • Add the carrots, onion, bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley), garlic cloves, and the salt.
  • Slowly bring the stock to a boil, and skim the surface of any residual scum.
  • Then, reduce the heat to barely simmer the liquid.
  • Cook partially covered for 1 to 1-1/2  hours, or until tender.
  • While the veal is simmering prepare the white onions and the mushrooms.

The vegetables

20 to 25 small white onions, peeled and left whole
2 Tbsp of butter
2/3 cup of chicken stock
1 tsp of lemon juice, 1 lb of mushrooms, sliced

  • In a large saucepan you can cover tightly, heat together 2 Tbsp of butter and the stock.
  • Slowly bring this to a boil and, when the butter has melted, add the onions.
  • Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Turn the onions every now and then.
  • If the stock cooks away, add a little more from the veal in the casserole.
  • When the onions are cooked – pierced easily with a pointed knife – remove them from the pan with the slotted spoon, and set them aside in a bowl.
  • In the same pan, stir 1 tsp of lemon juice in the remaining stock, bring it to a boil, and add the mushrooms.
  • Cook them briskly for 5 minutes, remove then from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside with the onions.
  • Pour any remaining liquid into the simmering casserole with the veal.

The velouté sauce

3 Tbsp of flour
3 Tbsp of butter
2 large egg yolks
1 cup of cream

  • When the veal is cooked, remove all the pieces from the casserole and strain the stock into a saucepan (press down on the vegetables).
  • Carefully drain the veal, onions and mushrooms of any juices collected in their bowls and add to the stock to be reduced as well.
  • Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to 2 cupfuls to use for the velouté sauce.
  • Melt the butter and stir the flour into it.
  • Cook this roux over low heat for a minute without browning it.
  • Then, slowly add the two cups of reserved veal stock.
  • Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and let cook for 5 minutes longer.
  • Meanwhile mix together the egg yolks and the cream and pour into the sauce.
  • Season to taste.
  • Place the meat and the mushrooms and onions in a clean casserole.
  • Pour the sauce over them.
  • Gently but thoroughly mix.
  • Heat once more and sprinkle with parsley.