Having got bored of beef, chicken and other more common meats, I decided to have a go at veal. This is a French ragout dish but unlike your typical ragout, the meat and the onion are not browned. This method of cooking is called en blanquette, hence its name. I have to warn you though, this takes over an hour to prepare, although it involves very few simple steps, so perhaps find something to do while waiting!
Here is what you need (serves 2):
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- Carrots, peeled and diced (I used 3 chantenay carrots but you can use any)
- Diced veal (I would say typically around 150g per person)
- 1 bouquet garnis
- 225g mushrooms, quartered (I used white but brown capped mushrooms may be more flavourful)
- 75g unsalted butter
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp single cream
Here is what you do:
- In a deep saucepan (or a casserole dish), place half of the chopped unions, diced veal and diced carrots, the bouquet garnis and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add enough water to cover, bring to boil and then simmer for an hour or until meat is tender.
- When the hour is almost up, heat 25g butter in a large pan and sauté the remaining chopped onions until golden. Add in another 25g of butter and then the mushrooms. Stir constantly until soft.
- Drain the (tender) meat and vegetables and add to the mushrooms and onions. Transfer to a large bowl, set aside and keep warm. Retain the cooking liquid.
- In the same pan, melt the remaining butter and add in the plain flour, making sure you stir constantly so it does not turn lumpy. Add in about 300mL of the cooking liquid you have retained. (Any remaining will serve as a wonderfully flavourful stock for future use. An idea from Heston Blumenthal is to store stock as ice cubes to retain maximum flavour!) Stir this over medium heat until the sauce thickens.
- Add in the meat and vegetables. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and cream, then stir into the dish. Make sure it does not boil so that the egg does not get scrambled!