Blanquette de Veau Recipe (French Veal Stew)
One of my favorite dishes to make during the colder months is this blanquette de veau recipe. This French veal stew is comfort food at it’s finest, made with tender veal cooked in a cream sauce with carrots, onions, and mushrooms. It’s simple to make, delicious, and a French classic that is sure to become a favorite in your home too!
Blanquette de Veau
Blanquette de veau is a classic French dish made with veal stewed in a creamy white sauce, typically with vegetables such as carrots, onions, and mushrooms.
The dish is traditionally made with veal shoulder, although other cuts of veal can be used as well.
One of the best parts about living in France was that I could go to any boucherie (butcher’s shop) and simply tell the butcher that I was making blanquette de veau, boeuf bourguignon, or coq au vin, and he’d know exactly what type of meat to give me and how to cut it up for me.
To create a blanquette de veau, you’ll need to cut up the veal into medium chunks, similar to the way you’d prepare meat for a beef bourguignon dish.
Unlike other stews, the veal is typically not browned in butter or oil first. This keeps the flavor of the meat delicate in the stew and prevents you from overcooking the veal.
The veal is simmered in water with aromatics such as bay leaves, thyme, and sage.
The sauce for blanquette de veau can be made a couple of different ways. Some cook a roux (a mixture of butter and flour) and add it to the cooking liquid to thicken it, followed by some cream. Others may mix cream and egg yolks to create a richer sauce.
Personally, I love creating a roux and adding crème fraîche, which I feel not only creates a rich, velvety sauce, but does so in a more foolproof way than egg yolks and cream (it’s really easy to get a curdled sauce when you’re using eggs!).
What does blanquette mean in cooking?
The name “blanquette” comes from the French word “blanc” which means white, referring to the white color of the sauce.
Typically when meats are cooked “blanquette,” it means they were cooked in a white stock or water that’s been flavored by aromatics.
What region is blanquette de veau from?
Blanquette de veau is a traditional French dish that is believed to have originated in the Burgundy region of France.
Blanquette de veau is a classic example of the hearty and comforting cuisine of this region, which includes other stews like boeuf bourguignon.
What does blanquette de veau taste like?
Blanquette de veau has a rich and creamy flavor, with tender pieces of veal and a velvety sauce that is mildly seasoned with herbs and spices.
If you haven’t had veal before, veal just tastes like a more subtle version of regular beef. It’s been said to be the “chicken” of red meats.
The dish as a whole has a delicate taste, with the flavor of the veal being the main focus. The creamy sauce is not too heavy or overpowering, but rather complements the meat and vegetables, making for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Overall, it’s a delicious and classic French dish that is sure to please anyone who enjoys comforting, creamy stews.
What wine goes with blanquette de veau?
Blanquette de veau pairs well with a variety of wines. Traditionally, a dry white wine such as a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc would be a great choice to enjoy with the finished recipe.
The acidity in the wine helps cut through the creaminess of the sauce, while the slightly fruity notes complement the delicate flavors of the veal and vegetables.
If you prefer red wine, a light-bodied red such as a pinot noir would also pair well with blanquette de veau.
What to serve with blanquette de veau?
Blanquette de veau is typically served with white rice and garnished with chopped parsley or a sprig of thyme.
The combination of veal with rice is a comforting and hearty dish that is perfect for colder months, and is considered a staple of French home cooking.
Blanquette de Veau Recipe
Comfort food at it's finest, tender veal is cooked in a cream sauce with carrots, onions, and mushrooms and served over a bed of fluffy, white rice.
- 1 1/2 lbs veal, cut into medium chunks
- 1 small onion, sliced
- generous pinch of kosher salt
- 1 bouquet garni (3 sage leaves, 2-3 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 small leek, rinsed, white and green parts, sliced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, separated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup crème fraiche
- small pinch of ground cloves
FOR THE RICE
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
- Place the cut up veal into a pot or large sauté pan. Cover with enough water so that all the veal is submerged in water. Add a generous pinch of kosher salt and the onion slices. Turn on the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it's boiling, use a spoon to skim off the scum from the surface. Discard the scum.
- Lower the heat so that the mixture is just simmering now, and add in the bouquet garni. Cover the pot with a lid, and let the veal cook for an hour and a half, or until it's tender.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp unsalted butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, add in the mushroom slices and sauté until tender. Then temporarily set the mushrooms aside.
- Create your basmati rice by first rinsing the rice in water in a saucepan. Drain the rice, then add 3 cups of water to the rice in the saucepan. Add a teaspoon of table salt and the vegetable oil, then stir everything to combine. Turn on the heat to high and let the mixture come to a boil. Once the water has reached just below the surface of the rice, turn the heat all the way down to low and place a lid on the rice. Cook for at least 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender.
- Once the veal in your stew is tender, add in the carrots and leeks. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, create a roux by melting 2 tbsp of unsalted butter in a separate pan. As the butter is melting, add in the garlic and stir until the butter is totally melted. Add the flour into the melted butter and garlic and stir to create a paste; about 1 minute.
- Add the roux to the stew, stirring it into the stew to combine, and then remove the bouquet garni. Add in the sautéed mushrooms, stirring to blend those in as well. If you're ready to serve your stew, then proceed to the next step. If you're waiting on guests or waiting to serve your dinner, simply put the lid on your stew and keep the stew on low heat.
- Once you're ready to serve dinner, stir in the crème fraiche. Let the cream cook in the stew for a few minutes so the cream can warm up, then adjust any seasoning by tasting the stew for salt and pepper, adding as needed. Finally, stir in a pinch of cloves into the stew. It's now ready to serve over a bed of rice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 801Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 209mgSodium: 777mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 48g