Veal Blanquette


1kg Diced veal
1 large onion, peeled, left whole, studded with 2 cloves
2 carrots, peeled
1 leek, white part only
1 bouquet garni (bundle of 1 sprig fresh flat leaf parsley, 1 sprig fresh thyme and 1 fresh bay leaf)
Salt, to taste

For the onions and mushrooms

24 small cocktail onions, peeled cooking liquid from the veal (see below)
250g small button mushrooms, trimmed

For the sauce

cooking liquid from the onions and mushrooms (see below)
300ml double cream
2 free-range egg yolks
2 tbsp crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

For the veal, place the cubes of meat into a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat until the water is simmering gently, then simmer for 30 minutes, skimming off any froth that collects of the surface of the liquid at intervals.

Add the vegetables, bouquet garni and a large pinch of salt and continue to simmer for a further 1 hour 20 minutes, adding more water as necessary to cover the veal and vegetables. (NB: The pan contents should be covered by the water at all times.) While the meat is simmering, carefully decant 500ml of the cooking liquid.

For the onions and mushrooms, place the cocktail onions into a separate pan and pour over the decanted cooking liquid. Bring the cooking liquid to the boil, and then reduce the heat until the liquid is simmering. Continue to simmer the onions for 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Add the mushrooms, cover the pan with a lid and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Once cooked drain the onions and mushrooms, pour the cooking liquid into the pan with the veal in it. Keep the drained onions and mushrooms warm.

When the veal pieces are tender, remove them from the pan, set aside and keep warm.

For the sauce, strain the cooking liquid into a clean saucepan (discard the vegetables). Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and continue to boil for 12-15 minutes or until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Then stir in the double cream and return the mixture to the boil for a further 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the egg yolks and crème fraîche until well combined. Remove the pan from the heat, and then stir in the egg yolk and crème fraîche mixture. Stir continuously until the mixture is completely incorporated and the sauce has thickened slightly. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Then enjoy immediately.
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