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I love a really good veal stew. We buy a veal freezer pack of non-milk-fed veal from Columbus Meats** every year which includes different cuts from scaloppine to veal ribs, stew meat, shanks and ground veal. I always like to dream up different ways to cook the veal. Here is one of them! If you change up the bacon to an equal amount of pancetta and add some soaked, dried, chopped Porcini mushrooms, you now have Italian Veal Stew! This stew would be delicious with mashed potatoes or colcannon.**
Makes 4 – 6 Servings
3 lbs. stewing veal
Canola oil or EVOO if doing an Italian version, to brown the meat
2 shallots, chopped fine or a small onion, chopped fine
1 cup pearl onions or 8-10 small cippolline onions, blanched & peeled**
2 – 3 slices bacon, preferably gammon or double smoked, cut into ½” pieces
2 large carrots either diced or cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, diced
3 – 4 Tbsp. flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 ½ bay leaves
2 cups 6 oz. veal stock or a combination of beef & chicken stock** or half beef & chicken no-salt broth
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, or ½ tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. salt + more if needed
¼ to ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
**You can use frozen pearl onions if you prefer. Add them to the stew for the last 1/2 of cooking.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the veal cubes lightly with salt & pepper. Brown the cubes, without crowding, in the hot oil. Remove the cubes to a plate as they brown. Brown the remaining cubes in the same manner.
Add the bacon to the pan & sauté until browned, but not crisp. Turn the heat down to medium-low, then add the chopped shallots or onions, carrots & celery. Sauté the veggies until the onions have softened but not browned. Add 3 Tbsp. flour to the pan & stir to combine, sauté, stirring for a minute or so. Add the white wine & stir up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for a few minutes; add the stock or broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to simmer & let cook for 1 ½ – 2 hrs., or until tender. If the sauce seems a bit thin, combine a tablespoon or two flour with some stock to make a slurry. Stir into the stew & let cook for 10 minutes to cook out the taste of the flour.
TIP: my favourite way to thicken things at the end, is to use potato starch & a bit of water. It thickens quickly & you only need to cook a couple of minutes longer to thicken.
**If you would like to see how to blanch the onions, please see Blanching Vegetables.
**If you would like to make the colcannon, please see to Colcannon.
**If you would like to make your own stock, please see to How to Make Stock.
**For location of Columbus Meats, please see to My Source List.