Monthly Archives: October 2012

Bored of Beef? Try Blanquette de Veau

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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:

  1. 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.Image
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

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Courtesy of Gordon Ramsay

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So I was watching Gordon Ramsay’s new tv show and felt I had to recreate this.  A very simple, zero-carb light meal, ready in 30 minutes.

Here is what you need (for 1 person):

  • 1 Sirloin steak
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Small carrot
  • Small portion of cucumber
  • 1 Baby gem lettuce, washed, drained and separated
  • 1 tsp Palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 tsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • A few splashes of fish sauce
  • 1 Red chilli, chopped
  • Bunch of coriander, chopped

Here is what you do:

  1. Take the steak out of the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking so that it is at room temperature.  While you wait, prepare the other ingredients.  For the carrot, after peeling, make carrot ‘ribbons’ by peeling into the carrot; for the cucumber, wash its skin and do the same (skin-on because it looks nicer and will be crunchier).  These vegetable ribbons will absorb more of the salad dressing than if you’d cut them into chunks.
  2. Heat a pan without oil.  Rub your steak with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Fry for about 2-3 minutes either side, depending on how you like your meat.  Personally, I think for this recipe, it’s best to be medium-to-well-done.
  3. Remove the steak from heat and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.  While you’re waiting, mix the palm sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce in a bowl until blended.
  4. To serve: layer your vegetables, lettuce at the bottom.  Trim the fat off of the steak and cut into 1 inch strips.  Scatter over coriander and chillies, then drizzle with salad dressing.

ENJOY!