Veal stewed in white wine
This hearty dish may be made a day ahead of time — the flavors will blend and intensify while it is resting. If you are preparing and serving it on the same day, start several hours before mealtime as the veal needs to stew gently for at least two hours.
Which cut to choose? Ask your butcher for lean stewing veal, for example from the shank or shoulder. If you use a better cut, you can reduce the stewing time by a bit.
As for equipment, you will need a large and a medium skillet, and a large stewing pot with a cover. The quantities below will serve 6 people.
3 pounds (1.5 kilo) boneless veal
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups homemade beef broth, homemade chicken broth or water
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 branch thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme (optional)
1 branch rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (optional)
4 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream (or more)
Slice the veal into large cubes, cutting away any fat.
Peel the onion, garlic and carrot. Mince the onion, finely mince the garlic and slice the carrot into very thin rounds.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil to sizzling in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté, stirring, until it starts to wilt. Add the garlic and carrots and continue cooking over medium heat for five minutes. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. oil to sizzling in a large skillet. Add about half the veal cubes and brown on all sides, turning the pieces over and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula. Transfer the meat out and repeat with the rest of the veal.
When all the veal is cooked on all sides, transfer the first batch back to the skillet. Sprinkle with the flour. Sauté, stirring, for about a minute, then add the wine. Use your wooden spatula to incorporate any bits that are sticking to the bottom.
In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste with a few tablespoons of warm water. Add to the skillet. Add the salt and grind on some black pepper. Add the tarragon and bay leaf. Add the thyme and rosemary if using.
Transfer the contents of the skillet to a large, heavy bottomed stewing pot. Add the broth or water — enough to fully cover the meat. Add the cooked veggies. Bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot partially to allow some steam to escape and cook over low heat until the meat is very tender, about 2-3 hours. Check from time to time to make sure the veal isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. The sauce should reduce by about half — if it gets too thick, add a bit more water.
When the veal is tender, allow to the pot to cool. Skim off any fat from the surface. At this point you may put the stew aside for up to 24 hours, or continue cooking.
Before resuming, remove the bay leaf and any herb branches. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Reheat gently.
Just before serving, stir in the cream. Serves 6.