Blanquette de veau
Blanquette a l
TypeStew
Place of originFrance
Main ingredientsVeal, mirepoix, butter or cream, flour

Blanquette de veau (French pronunciation: [ blɑ̃kɛt də vo] (listen)) is a French veal stew. In the classic version of the dish the meat is simmered in a white stock and served in a sauce velouté enriched with cream and egg. It is among the most popular meat dishes in France.

Definition

The Oxford Companion to Food describes "blanquette" as "a French and to some extent international culinary term indicating a dish of white meat (veal, poultry, also lamb) served in a white sauce".[1] In Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne's definition is "the French term for a ragout of white meat (veal, lamb or poultry) cooked in a white stock or water with aromatic flavourings".[2][n 1]

Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle and Julia Child in their Mastering the Art of French Cooking describe blanquette de veau, as "a much-loved stew in France … veal simmered in a lightly seasoned white stock … served in a sauce velouté made from the veal cooking stock and enriched with cream and egg yolks".[3] In 2007 Anne Willan wrote that French television had recently conducted a poll of favourite meat dishes in which "Blanquette de veau was in the top five, with steak frites and gigot d'agneau".[4]

Ingredients

The name "blanquette" derives from "blanc", the French for white, and there is a purist view that the whiteness of the dish is key, and coloured vegetables such as carrots should not be included. In the words of Anthony Bourdain:

There are certain rules in the world of cooking. One of them is that color contrast is a good thing. A plate with too much white, for instance, cries out for some garnish, some color, something, anything, to distract the eye from all that monochrome. But not this dish. This dish is the exception to the rule. For a chef, it can be maddening to make it for the first time, as the natural impulse, the sum total of all one's training, says "Put some carrot in there – a little chopped parsley, for God's sake!" Resist the urge. It's supposed to be white. All white. Keep it that way. It makes something of a statement.[5]

Some cooks, such as Anne Willan, share Bourdain's view, but numerous cooks from Auguste Escoffier (1907) onwards have included carrots in their recipes for blanquette de veau.[6]

Beck, Bertholle and Child list six suitable cuts of veal for a blanquette: poitrine (breast), haute de côtes (short ribs), épaule (shoulder), côtes découvertes (middle neck) and gîte/jarret (knuckle).[7] Other cooks and food writers have differed in their recommended cuts for the dish:

Cook/writer Recommended cut Reference
James Beard shoulder [8]
Mary Berry shoulder [9]
Paul Bocuse flank and tendron[n 2] [10]
Anthony Bourdain neck or shoulder [5]
Eugénie Brazier mixture of breast and collar [11]
Robert Carrier shoulder or breast [12]
Craig Claiborne shoulder [13]
Auguste Escoffier breast, shoulder and collar ribs [14]
Michael Field leg or rump [15]
Jane Grigson shoulder [16]
Michel Guérard shoulder [17]
Edouard de Pomaine breast [18]
Joël Robuchon collar, shoulder or knuckle, and either tendron or breast [19]
Michel Roux, Jr. breast [20]
Louis Saulnier shoulder or tendron [21]
Anne Willan shoulder [4]
Hannah Glasse's recipe, from 1770 edition of her The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy
Hannah Glasse's recipe, from 1770 edition of her The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy

In older recipes the veal was roast and allowed to go cold before being sliced or chopped, covered in a white sauce and reheated.[22] Eliza Acton's 1858 recipe includes mushrooms gently sautéed in butter and served over the veal with Sauce Tournée (also called velouté).[23] There was at one time some question of how blanquettes were to be distinguished from fricassées. In 1960 The Times commented:

Both should be made from fresh meat (usually chicken, veal or lamb) cooked in a flavoured white stock. The meat for a fricassée is often cooked (without browning) in butter before it is simmered. For a blanquette the meat is more often blanched with herbs and seasoning, this liquid being added to a white roux to make the sauce in which the cooking is finished. For both dishes the sauce should be bound with a liaison of egg yolks, cream and lemon juice before serving.[24]

According to Montagne, blanquette de veau is usually served with rice à la créole but may also be served with celeriac, halved celery hearts, carrots, braised parsnips or leeks, braised cucumber, braised lettuce or lettuce hearts.[2] Pasta or potatoes are sometimes served instead of rice, and Escoffier recommends noodles.[14]

Notes, references and sources

Notes

  1. ^ Montagne adds that blanquette, which had "a very important place in historical cuisine and became a classic of bourgeois cookery" were also made with fish (monkfish) and vegetables (chard and celery).[2]
  2. ^ In French butchery the tendrons are from the middle of the underside of the animal, between the breast to the front and the flank to the rear.

References

  1. ^ Davidson, pp. 80–81
  2. ^ a b c Montagne, p. 125
  3. ^ Beck et al, p. 383
  4. ^ a b Willan, p. 147
  5. ^ a b Bourdain, p. 142
  6. ^ Beard, p. 276; Berry, p. 78; Bocuse, p. 77; Brazier, p. 188; Carrier, p. 196; Claiborne, p. 134; Escoffier, p. 692; Field, p. 179; Grigson, p. 205; Guérard, p. 202; Pomiane. p. 225; Robuchon, pp. 156–157; and Roux, p. 150
  7. ^ Beck et al, p. 381
  8. ^ Beard, p. 276
  9. ^ Berry, p. 78
  10. ^ Bocuse, p. 77
  11. ^ Brazier, p. 188
  12. ^ Carrier, p. 196
  13. ^ Claiborne, p. 134
  14. ^ a b Escoffier, p. 692
  15. ^ Field, p. 179
  16. ^ Grigson, p. 205
  17. ^ Guérard, p. 202
  18. ^ Pomiane. p. 225
  19. ^ Robuchon, pp. 156–157
  20. ^ Roux, p. 150
  21. ^ Saulnier, p. 171
  22. ^ Francatelli, p. 260
  23. ^ Acton, p. 273
  24. ^ "Cookery Glossary", The Times, 1 August 1960, p. 9

Sources

See also