It has been a wee while since I have written a blog post, and so I have lots of recipes and experiences that I need to share. I also need to catch up on my ‘Diary of a Wannabe Chef’ posts, and so I thought I would start with the next one in the series ‘Blanquette de Veau‘. This is essentially a veal stew in a white sauce. You serve this with rice, and so everything on your plate is white (for best effects, also use a white plate). This allows for the green of the parsley that you use to dress the dish, to pop out of the plate.
The three courses we made this week were:
- Starter: Potage Cerfeuil (Chervil Soup)
- Main: Blanquette de veau a l’anicenne, riz Pilaw. (Veal Stew with Pilaf Rice)
- Dessert: Crepes, coulis de framboise et glace vanilla (Crepes with raspberry coulis and vanilla ice cream)
Blanquette of veal with Rice
French Cooking Technique terms used:
- Bouquet Marmite
- Blanchir de veau
- Cuissons à blanc
- Onions glacé
- Pilaf rice
- (about 500g) Veal
- 1 onion pierced with 3 cloves
- 1 Bouquet Marmite: Tie together with string the following:
- 1 peeled carrot
- 1 leek (chopped in half)
- 1 celery stalk (chopped in half)
- 1 Bouquet Garni: Tie together with string the following:
- bay leaf
- To make approximately 100g of roux use:
- 40g butter
- 80g flour
- ½ lemon juice
- 25g butter
- 150g mushrooms, chopped in quarters
- 8+3 shallots
- 1 large pinch of salt
- 1 heaped tsp of sugar
- 25g of butter for the rice
- For every 1 litre of sauce:
- 2 egg yolks (optional)
- 100ml of cream (optional)
- Parsley to serve (optional)
1. Place the veal into a pan of cold salted water. Bring to the boil. Skim the scum from the surface.
TOP TIP: always skim the surface of a stock, before adding the vegetables and herbs for the stock, otherwise the scum will gather around the vegetables and stay in the stock.
TOP TIP: by adding the vegetables and herbs, you are making sure that the water flavours the veal, and you do not loose all the flavour of the veal.
4. Make the Roux for the sauce. Melt the butter, and add the flour, continue to stir until cooked through. Leave to cool completely.
TOP TIP: You know when the roux is cooked by its smell. It should smell of cooked biscuits. (About 10 minutes – but be careful to continue to stir).
5. Place a large pan, with one centimetre depth of water, the lemon juice, and the butter, over a medium heat, until the butter has melted and it has started to boil. Add the mushrooms, and cook over a medium heat until all the mushrooms are cooked. Sieve the mushrooms, and retain both the sauce and the mushrooms to one side.
TOP TIP: The butter. Water, and lemon mixture must be hot before adding the mushrooms in order to keep the mushrooms white, otherwise you will get brown/black mushrooms, and you will not get the white mushrooms to maintain the whiteness of all the elements in the dish.
TOP TIP: The technique used to cook the mushrooms in French technical cooking terms is called ‘Cuissons à Blanc’
TOP TIP: If you wanted to make a Mushrooms essence, you would cook the mushrooms in the same way, once cooked, remove the mushrooms, and reduce the sauce until it is the right thickness, to achieve your ‘Essence de Champignons’.
6. Make the onions glacé. Prepare the shallots, by blanching them in boiling water first for 30 seconds. Remove the tops, tails and skin. In a sauté pan (which has a lid), smear the bottom of the pan with a layer of butter. Layer the onions so that they are all in one layer. Place some of the stock from the veal into the pan, until it is 3/4 of the way up the onions. Add the salt and sugar. Bring to the boil. Cover the onions with parchment paper, place the lid over the top, and place into the oven for about 10 minutes. You will know that the onions are cooked, when you pierce them with a knife and they are soft. If they are not soft, place back into the oven for a few more minutes. Leave them to one side. (This is the same technique as we did for the Beef Stew with Caramalised Onions, but this time we are doing it with lighter stock).
TOP TIP: Placing the shallots in hot water first, makes it a lot easier to remove the skin.
7. 30 minutes before you are ready to serve, prepare the rice. Melt the butter, add the chopped shallots, and over a low heat, cook them until soft. You do not want to colour them. You want the shallots to be nice and translucent. When the shallots are ready, add the rice, and stir until translucent. Add the water, and bring to the boil. Cover with parchment paper, and cover with a lid. Place in the oven at 180C for 17 minutes.
8. To prepare the final stages of the veal, sieve the veal stock into a new pan, and leave the meat to one side. Add the mushroom stock, and measure the amount of liquid that you have, and place over a medium heat.
TOP TIP: For every litre of liquid that you are using, using 100g of roux.
9. While whisking the sauce, add the appropriate amount of roux, and continue to whisk until mixed in. (i.e. if you have 1 litre of liquid, use 100g of roux).
TOP TIP: When making a sauce with roux, either the liquid or the roux needs to be cold (or both should be cold). If they are both hot, you will get lumps in the sauce.
10. In the sauce, add the veal meat, the onions, and the mushrooms.
11. Just before you are ready to serve, mix the egg yolks and cream together. While stirring the sauce, off the heat, add the egg and cream mixture, and serve immediately. This step is optional, but makes the sauce richer.
TOP TIP: Use 2 egg yolks and 100ml of cream per 1 litre of sauce.
12. On the plate, place a timbale of rice, add the blanchette de veau, and if you have any, add a little of chopped parsley on top. Enjoy!