Blanquette de Veau
Popular in France for centuries, this delicate dish of veal and vegetables in an aromatic cream sauce deserves a spot on every dinner table.
This classic French dish of delicate veal, cream, carrots, mushrooms, and butter (and more butter) does in many ways feel like a blanketed dish—in which nothing is cooked to the point of browning, but rather velveted in a warm and comforting white sauce. Blanquette de veau consistently ranks in the top ten when the French are surveyed about their favorite dishes. Find more of our favorite classic French recipes here.
- 5–6 parsley sprigs
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 lb. boneless veal shoulder, cut into 1-in. chunks
- 16 baby carrots, peeled
- 10 oz. pearl onions, peeled
- 2 small fennel bulbs, each cut into 8 wedges
- 10 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
- 5 celery stalks, cut into 1-in. pieces
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- ⅓ cup crème fraîche
- Parsley leaves, to garnish
Make a bouquet garni: In a large square of cheesecloth, bundle the parsley, thyme, coriander, garlic, black peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf; tie with kitchen twine to close, and set aside.
In a large pot set over high heat, bring the veal, bouquet garni, and 10 cups water to a boil; turn down the heat to medium-low, and cook, occasionally and skimming any impurities that rise to the surface, for 30 minutes. Add the carrots, onions, and fennel, and cook for 30 minutes. Add the mushrooms and celery, and cook until the veal is very tender and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the veal and vegetables to a large bowl; cover and keep warm.
Set a fine sieve over a large bowl, and strain the veal. Measure 4 cups of the cooking liquid into a small pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 30 minutes. (Reserve the remaining veal broth for another use.)
Wipe the large pot clean and return it to the stove over medium heat; add the butter and once it has melted, whisk in the flour, and cook, stirring, to make a smooth, white roux, 3–5 minutes. Add the reduced stock and the cream, and bring to a boil; cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
Return the veal and vegetables to the sauce, and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and cayenne; divide the blanquette de veau among bowls of white rice. Drizzle each serving with crème fraîche and garnish with parsley leaves before serving.