Blanquette de veau
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|Place of origin||France|
|Main ingredients||Veal, mirepoix, butter or cream, flour|
Blanquette de veau ([blɑ̃kɛt də vo]) is a French veal ragout in which neither the veal nor the butter is browned in the cooking process. To refrain from browning meat and fat in this way, is to cook them en blanquette.
From Larousse Gastronomique "BLANQUETTE: the French term for a ragout of white meat (veal, lamb or poultry) cooked in a white stock or water with aromatic flavorings. Theoretically, the sauce is obtained by making a roux and adding cream and egg yolks. However, the roux is more often than not omitted. Blanquette had a very important place in historical cuisine and became a classic of bourgeois cookery. Blanquettes are also made with fish (monkfish) and vegetables (chard and celery.)"
Preparation and variations
To prepare blanquette de veau, one stews pieces of veal (such as shoulder or breast) and mirepoix, Strain, reserving meat, then bolster the broth with roux. Boil to thicken, then return meat to stew. International Culinary Center recipe includes adding pearl onions and quartered mushrooms to the mix. Finish with a liaison of heavy cream and yolk, 1:1. Do not further cook once egg is added, to avoid curdling.
Again, from Larousse, "Blanquette is usually served with rice a la creole but may also be served with celeriac (celery root), halved celery hearts, carrots, braised parsnips or leeks, cucumber (cut into chunks and braised three minutes in boiling salted water, braised lettuce or lettuce hearts.
Even modern chefs follow tradition in this classic dish. From The Country Cooking of France: Mushrooms, carrots and rice are the most common accompaniments to this dish, although the carrots should not be there. Pasta or potatoes can occasionally be served instead of rice.
However, Georges Auguste Escoffier's Le Guide culinaire written in 1903 lists both the "Blanquette de Veau a l'Ancienne" (old fashioned Blanquette Veal breast) as being served with noodles instead of rice. He also lists a second recipe, Blanquette of Veal Breast with Celery Knobs and endives, which is served on parboiled noodles as well.
Because this is a classic "white stew" there is a prejudice to serving it with any items that would add color (i.e. carrots or peas).
- 2001 2nd edition, ISBN 2-03-560227-0, with assistance from a gastronomic committee chaired by Joël Robuchon
•The Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst, Barron's Cooking Guide, Copyright 1995, Library of Congress catalog number 95-15208