Blanquette de Veau
2 pounds boneless veal stew cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6-8 whole black pepper corns
1 bay leaf
4 springs fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 medium-sized onion minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 ½ cup either chicken or vegetable broth
3 carrots sliced into ½ inch rounds
12 small pearl onions, frozen or fresh
1 cup crème fraîche (or heavy cream)
Juice from ½ lemon
1. Trim veal of any excess fat.
2. Put veal into a Dutch oven along with the thyme, pepper corns, bay leaf, parsley, garlic, leek, and onion. Cover and using a medium heat, cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring periodically. The meat will release juices.
3. Then, add the wine and broth, cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour or until meat is fork tender.
4. If you are using fresh pearl onions, add during the last 30 minutes of the cooking.
5. Lift out the meat and onions and set aside. If desired, discard the parsley and bay leaf too.
6. Add crème fraîche to the meat juices and allow to form bubbles. The sauce will thicken (7-10 minutes of cooking).
7. Return veal and onions to the pot and when completely reheated, add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly. (NB: Like all stews, making the night before improves the flavor. This dish also freezes beautifully.)
Wine recommendations: A Pouilly Fumé (a sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley), chardonnay from Burgundy or even a light red, such as a Chiroubles (a Cru Beaujolais)