Quebec Grain-Fed Veal Blanquette with Pale Ale

Type of cut: cubes

Yield: 4 servings

Degree of difficulty: average

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: depending on desired cooking method

Cooking method: simmering

VDGQ-icon-classic-recipesEach recipe has a story!

It is difficult to determine the exact origin of each recipe. The story you will read is taken from legends, discussions and chefs’ theories. Apparently…

Blanquette is said to be one of the oldest gastronomical recipes from France. Originally, it was made from veal roast leftovers served with a white sauce, hence its name. It was in 1735, in Vincent La Chapelle’s book “Cuisinier Moderne” that the word blanquette first appeared (first codified recipe). At the time, this dish was served as an appetizer with Paris mushrooms and pearl onions. Is was in the Parisian region called “Île de France” that this recipe was created and later spread throughout France. After the Second World War, blanquette became a main dish that was served with rice. Here, we are offering the Quebec version of blanquette, as we are replacing the white wine with beer. For the purists, replace the beer with the same quantity of white wine.

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Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb) Quebec Grain-Fed Veal cubes
  • 750 ml (3 cups) prepared concentrated veal stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pale ale
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) corn starch diluted in 30 ml (2 tbsp) cold water
  • 1 herb bouquet (thyme, laurel, parsley)
  • 500 g (4 cups) vegetables cut in large chunks (carrots, fresh peas, celery, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, etc.)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) country-style cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

(Select the desired cooking method)

VDGQ-icone-chaudronStove top
  1. In a saucepan of boiling water, poach the veal cubes for a few minutes.
  2. Discard the cooking water, rinse the cubes well and set aside.
  3. In an enameled cast iron slow cooker, heat veal stock and beer and thicken with diluted corn starch.
  4. Add the reserved cubes and the herb bouquet and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  5. Thirty minutes before the end of cooking, incorporate the vegetables according to size and cooking time for each.
  6. Cooking will be completed when the internal temperature reaches 90oC (195oF) or when the cubes give away easily with pressure and the vegetables are al dente (crunchy).
  7. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, heat the cream and add to the blanquette.
  8. Remove the herb bouquet, adjust seasoning.
VDGQ-icone-mijoteuseSlow cooker/crock pot
  1. Set the slow cooker to “high”.
  2. In a saucepan of boiling water, poach the veal cubes for a few minutes.
  3. Discard the cooking water, rinse the cubes well and set aside.
  4. Place the cubes and the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  5. In the same saucepan, heat the veal stock and beer and thicken with the diluted corn starch. Bring to a boil and pour into the slow cooker.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cover and cook for approximately 4 hours until the meat gives away easily with light pressure or the internal temperature reaches 90oC (195oF).
  8. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, heat the cream and add to the blanquette.
  9. Remove the herb bouquet, adjust seasoning.

Accompaniment: serve the blanquette in a large bowl with toasted bread or on a patty shell.

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VDGQ-icone-chef Recipe provided by Alain Fortier, chef and training consultant for Quebec Grain-Fed Veal.

Photo credit: Annie Bigras