Blanquette de Veau
The 2010 F1 Season starts today with a Grand Prix at Bahrain. This year they have new rules and one of them was that no refuelling would be allowed during the race. Imagine all of them starting with very full and heavy tanks. Hub said that as a loyal Ferrari employee, he has no intention of missing this race (especially when Alonso seems ready to help us forget last year's drought and Schummi is playing traitor) and that he would be in front of the plasma at One. This means that lunch would have to be cooked (no TV dinners in this French household) and served before noon.
Feeling quite kindly disposed towards the breadwinner over my new ring (which he remains ignorant of to this day), I am needless to say ready to comply and even indulge. Even though I am worn out after yesterday's "Gran Gala", I woke up early this morning and made him something I personally dislike but which he very much enjoys : Blanquette de Veau.
Veau is veal in French. For some reason I've not taken to this meat and try to avoid it whenever I can. But the traditional French way of preparing veal in an egg and cream sauce is not without its charm and done properly, it is actually very delicious. We have learnt how to do this once in a cooking class (with a very good Chef) in Paris, and I've pretended that I didn't know this dish existed since.
Blanquette de Veau (for 2 persons) :
1 Celery stalk
1 white of Leek
2 Garlic cloves
1 Onion stuck with 3-4 cloves
Bay leaf, thyme, parsley
1 slice Lemon peel
Salt and white pepper to taste
125ml Dry white wine
150g Champignons de Paris
2 Egg yolks
125ml Crème fraîche
Juice of half a lemon1 Tbsp Port (optional)
The meat should come from different parts of the animal wherever possible e.g. shoulder, breast or loin. If there is any fat, remove it. Keep the bones (if any). Unfortunately my supermarket only had veal for stew and so I had to make do with it.
Put the veal (cut into large cubes) in a soup pot and cover it with just enough cold water. Bring it to a boil and leave the meat in it for just a minute. Remove the meat from the pot and rinse it. Filter the water through a sieve and keep it for the sauce.
Finely chop the carrot, celery, leek and garlic and put into the pot. As always, I use a Le Creuset marmite.
Add the meat, onion, lemon peel and herbs. Add salt and plenty of white pepper. Pour in the water from earlier on and the white wine. Bring to a boil, skim, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove the veal and set aside. Also fish out the lemon peel and throw it away.
Add the mushrooms to the stock. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks, cream and lemon juice. Add to the hot stock, whisking well. If you are generous with your egg yolks and cream, there is usually no need to add flour to the sauce to thicken it. Return the meat to the sauce and reheat all over a gentle flame so that the sauce thickens but does not boil.
Serve hot with white rice or potatoes.
It was a great success with the Babies. And Hub's verdict : "This blanquette is excellent!"
I have merited my ring, don't you think so?