Navarin de Veau

Veal StewI found some English stewing veal in Waitrose on a lean larder night, and this is what we came up with — a twist on the more traditional French navarin of lamb, and just as delicious.

It may seem like there’re a lot of steps, but this is really easy to make.

 

 

Serves 2

 

500g stewing veal, cubed

125g baby carrots, washed and trimmed

200g tomatoes, chopped

50g baby leeks, washed and trimmed

1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed

75g mange tout, washed and trimmed

175ml white wine

200ml chicken stock

1 tablespoon flour

½ tablespoon unsalted butter

½ tablespoon olive oil

1½ teaspoon granulated sugar

1 bay leaf

small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped finely

little extra butter and olive oil to brown the vegetables

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

1. Pre heat oven to 200˚C or gas mark 6.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based sauté pan and brown off the veal in batches. Transfer the veal to a casserole, sprinkle the sugar evenly over it and put it in the oven for 2-3 minutes. This adds sweetness and gloss to the dish.

3. Remove the casserole from the oven and add chopped the tomatoes and garlic.

4. Make a roux* with the flour and the half tablespoons of butter and oil. When the roux is cooked to a light creamy-brown, add the stock and wine and stir together well so that you work any lumps out (if there are any) and you have a nice, smooth sauce. Bring it to the boil and let it thicken for a minute or two. We want to cook the alcohol out of the wine. Then pour it into the casserole and add the bay leaf. Slap on the lid on and pop it into a 180˚C or gas mark 4 oven for 1 hour.

5. Now top and tail the carrots and the leeks. Blanch the carrots in some vigourously boiling water for a couple of minutes. Fresh them in cold water (to stop them cooking) and dry them thorough.

6. Heat some butter and olive oil in a frying pan and gently sauté the carrots and leeks until they have taken some colour. Add a good pinch of sugar to help them on their way. Set them aside.

7. After the casserole has had its hour, take it out of the oven and add the carrots and leeks. Pop it all back in the oven, lid off, for another 20 minutes.

 

Serve with a side dish of steamed or boiled potatoes or some crusty French bread.

 

* A roux is just a mixture of equal parts flour and fat cooked together  and used to thicken gravies and sauces. Melt the oil and fat in a pan and cook the flour in it, stirring all the time so it doesn’t burn. Then add the liquid, stirring and stirring so that it doesn’t go lumpy. If it threatens to lump up on you, turn down the heat and go at it hard with a whisk. It will work itself out.