I officially have Spring Fever! Outdoors the days are becoming longer and lighter, the weather is warmer, my spring bulbs are all sprouting and the pansies are planted . Indoors, I have tucked away my winter pillows and throws and have brought out my brighter ones in happy colors and lighter weight fabric, I have filled a bowl with bright citrus fruit and have shopped the product aisle looking for all those wonderful spring vegetables that start to appear this time of year. My latest trip “down the aisle” turned up the following: fresh english peas, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, red baby pearl onions and asparagus. I used all of these vegetables in this wonderful veal blanquette recipe. It’s become one of my spring traditions to make veal blanquette. Veal blanquette is a french dish in which the veal meat is stewed in broth , the veal and the butter is never browned. It’s a perfect dish to welcome Spring!
From by the bay , wishing happy spring food memories!
Veal Blanquette with Tender Vegetables
To make blanquette:
3 pounds veal, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs tarragon, plus 3 tablespoons chopped
2 bay leaves
12 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1.5 ounce store bought veal demi glace
juice and zest of one lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Assortment blanched vegetables
Melt 8 tablespoons butter in heavy bottomed casserole on medium heat. Saute the veal one minute per side, cooking the veal from pink to white without browning. Add to the casserole the stock, 3 springs of tarragon and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until veal is fork tender. While the veal is cooking blanche your vegetables . Once the veal is cooked, remove veal into a bowl and strain broth in a another bowl. Place the empty casserole back on to medium heat and melt the remaining butter, once melted add the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring, Whisk in the broth along with the veal demi glace and cook until thickened. Stir in the cream, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste. Ina big bowl or platter top veal with sauce and mix. Toss the vegetables over the veal, sprinkle with chopped chives and tarragon and serve immediately. This can be served as is or with small new boiled potatoes.
1 cup fresh english peas, shelled or frozen baby peas
12 baby carrots, whole and peeled, with green tops cut off
12 pencil thin asparagus, woody bottoms cut off
24 sugar snap peas
16 red or white baby pearl onions
Bring a large pot of water to boil, Have a large bowl of ice water ready and a strainer to remove vegetables from boiling water. You will cook each vegetable separately in the same pot of boiling water and use the strainer to remove and place into the ice bath. The peas and sugar snap peas will take 1 to 2 minutes, the asparagus and baby carrots will take 3-4 minutes depending on size. You are looking for the vegetables to be slightly tender, yet bright in color. Lastly, boil the pearl onions, then strain and rinse with cool water. Let the onions cool off , then pop them out of their skins. Strain vegetables out of the water and keep in a bowl to the side until ready to add to the blanquette.