05 April 2008

« Blanquette de veau » recipe

This is the recipe for blanquette that I have been using for 25 or 30 years.

Here's a translation:
2 to 2½ lbs. veal for stew
1½ cups dry white wine
1 carrot
1 onion
an herb bouquet (thyme, bay leaf, parsley, leek, etc.)
½ lb. mushrooms
½ lb. pearl onions
4 oz. cream
1 egg yolk
1 lemon
2 oz. butter
2 Tbs. flour

Put the veal in a big pot with the carrot (peeled and cut into four pieces), the peeled onion, the herb bouquet, and some pepper and salt. Pour in the wine and then add enough cold water to cover the meat by about an inch. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam that forms, and then let the veal simmer for two hours on low heat. Remove the veal from the pot and put it on a towel or in a strainer to dry.

In another pot, make a roux with the butter and flour. Pour in two or three cups of the veal broth to make a smooth sauce. Put the veal, the mushrooms (washed and sliced), and the little onions into the sauce and let it simmer for 20 minutes or more, until everything is cooked.

In a small bowl, mix together the cream, the egg yolk, and the juice of a lemon. Pour this mixture into the sauce, but don't let it boil or the egg yolk will scramble. Just let it thicken slightly on very low heat.

Serve the veal, the onions, and the mushrooms in a bowl, with just a little sauce over all. Serve the rest of the sauce in a gravy boat or bowl. Accompany with steamed rice (or pasta or boiled potatoes).

I usually skip the egg yolk thickening and just put a squeeze of lemon juice in the sauce at the end, along with the cream, to perk it up. And if I can't get tiny onions (pearl onions are harder to find here in Saint-Aignan than they were in California), I just cut up a regular onion and add it to the sauce along with the mushrooms.

You can make the same dish with chicken, turkey, or even lamb.


  1. I am glad you pointed out that 1,200kg of veal isn't just over a tonne of meat!

    I assume that one day the French use of commas in numbers will come naturally to me, but until then it is still a mind stretching excecise when I visit a market. Having to remember a language I don't speak AND a numbering system which is just that faintest bit different to one I am use to makes my head spin.

  2. Commas in checks leave our bank's tellers perplexed. (This is in the US.)

  3. Your translation is not accurate. You assume [rightly enough] that the white wine should be put in the pot with the water. I'm sorry to say the French let the wine stand on the kitchen counter, because in the body of the recipe no mention whatsoever is made of wine, white or otherwise.
    Basically your recipe is the same as mine. It is one of my favorite. I use chicken, because the price of veal in Southern California would go through the roof if I could find it!

  4. chm- the wine left on the kitchen counter is for the cook to partake during the cooking period, a la Julia Child :-) .

    I usually add the wine to the broth sauce before I add the veal.

  5. CHM, for the first time this morning, I noticed that the wine is not mentioned in the text of the recipe. That's after making this dish for 30 years or more. And then I promptly forgot to point that out on the blog.

    I put half the bottle of white wine into the pot with the veal, etc. And then I drink the other half during the cooking process.

  6. Maybe the wine was originally meant to be drunk during the cooking process?

    Probably not -- that's more of an American thing to do.

  7. The Beaver and Ken, that's exactly what I thought!

  8. Blanquette de veau is one of my favourites, now can't say anything about the white wine, as I don't cook it myself! ;)


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