Happy Thanksgiving Eve, y’all.
I didn’t post yesterday – it wasn’t intentional, I was just so darn busy. We woke up, got The Young One off to school and headed out to pick up our Thanksgiving turkey from our poultry farmer, along with two quart jars of homemade mincemeat and our weekly egg purchase. We really like our poultry farmer and his wife and stayed and visited with them for a bit (they are both just a hoot), then we went out to Whitefeather Meats to pick up our latest hog (you should check out their re-designed website, it rocks). While we were there, we picked up two lamb shanks and a pheasant, of all things, which I plan to cook for Christmas dinner.
Afterwards, we headed home and put away the pork, lamb, pheasant, eggs and mincemeat and I dropped Mr. Turkey into a brine of salt, water and pure Grade B maple syrup and stuck him in the fridge in the garage. Then I dropped a grass-fed beef arm roast in the slow cooker for dinner, and made us some lunch before heading into the office and working like a madwoman because I’m only staying at work until noon today so I can go home and start prepping for The Big Meal tomorrow.
Whew. I’m tired just typing all that.
At any rate, we also recently picked up a pound of humanely raised Veal Stew meat (from the grocery store, of all places). I don’t have a lot of experience with veal, but decided to give it a whirl and I am glad I did – this stew was rich and decadent and delicious.
I will confess and tell you that I used cream in the dish, although I’ve given a dairy-free option, and attempted to thicken the sauce with egg yolks. It didn’t work out quite like I’d hoped – the end product was more like a soup than a stew – but the consistency didn’t detract from it at all. It felt like, and would be excellent as, a good “special occasion” dish. Without a lot of work – it is, after all, just a stew, albeit a rather fancy one. You could call this a Blanquette de Veau, although technically the veal shouldn’t be browned in the classic preparation.
You can make this Whole30 compliant by using the coconut milk and subbing the Yukon gold potatoes with white-fleshed sweet potatoes.
- 1 pound veal stew meat, cut into 2″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 large carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 2 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen twine
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, washed and quartered
- 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a 2 1/2 quart Dutch oven over high heat and cook the veal until browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and cloves; continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and is beginning to turn translucent, about 5 minutes more.
- Add the carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaf to the pot and stir in the chicken stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until the veal is tender. 20 minutes before the stew is done, add the potatoes to the Dutch oven, recover, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
- After the potatoes have been added to the stew, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms in a single layer, taking care not to crowd them, and cook, turning frequently, until the mushrooms are nicely browned. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Once the meat and potatoes are done, remove them from the Dutch oven using a slotted spoon and add them to the mushrooms in the sauté pan; keep warm. Pick the thyme sprigs and bay leaf from the the liquid in the pot (you may also remove the celery if you wish).
- Whisk egg yolks and coconut milk or heavy cream together in a bowl, and slowly stir into the liquid in the Dutch oven. Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, taking care not to let the mixture boil. Return the meat, potatoes and mushrooms to the pot; stir in the lemon juice. Taste, season as needed with salt and pepper, and serve.
- Nutrition (per serving): 604 calories, 30.8g total fat, 263.8mg cholesterol, 490.9mg sodium, 1657.5mg potassium, 46.5g carbohydrates, 5.4g fiber, 8.4g sugar, 35.9g protein.