What I really like to cook when autumn has come is a Blanquette.
Perfect comfort food for family and friends : the combination of a very tender meat and the rich, creamy sauce... It's all we need to welcome the first cold days of the season !
A bit of history
Blanquette is part of our oldest recipes : first appeared in 1733 in the cook book « Le Cuisinier Moderne » by Vincent La Chapelle.
The region of origin is not easy to trace but what we know for sure is that every family in France has their own version !
So here is mine !
Mostly influenced by my mum’s cooking (she always advices not to reduce the quantity of egg yolks for the sauce).
Preparation time : 20min
Cooking time : 2h
1,6 kg veal (tendron or flank, neck, shoulder, use different parts with and without bones)
2,5 L of water (or even better : veal stock, left from the previous Blanquette)
5 cl white wine
1 clove-studded white onion
200 g pearl onions
2 garlic cloves
70 g butter
1 tea spoon sugar
250 g button mushroom
30 g flour
4 egg yolks
1,5 dl cream
White pepper in grains
Bouquet garni : 1 celery stick, 1 white of leek + 2 leaves of laurel, thyme and parsley (the aromatic herbs tied up all together in a green leaf of leek)
For a tender meat :
Cut the meat in 2 inches cubes (about 50g).
Set in a stewpot and cover with cold salted water (bouquet garni optionnal at that stage).
Boil for 5 minutes : remove the foam during that time.
After 5min, drain the meat and get rid of the water. Then put the meat back into the stewpot, cover it with hot water or veal stock.
Make it tasty
Add the bouquet garni and simmer for 40min. Add as much water or bouillon as necessary to keep the meat immersed.
Peel and rinse the carrots and cut them into sticks (5 cm long, 5 mm large).
Peel the white onion and stud it with cloves.
Peel the garlic.
Add the vegetables and the white pepper in grains to the stewpot.
Simmer slowly for another 1h20.
Prepare the vegetables and rice
After 1h, start caramelizing the pearl onions with 20g butter and the spoon of sugar.
Brown the mushrooms in a pan with 20g butter and a pinch of salt, deglaze with white wine.
Start cooking the rice (with 3 or 4 ladles of the stock to enhance the flavors).
Start the sauce
In a saucepan, cook 30 g butter with 30 g flour for 3 minutes (add flour when the butter is hot). Use a whisk to mix the 2 ingredients, then let it cool for a moment (stop the roux before it browns).
Reserve the meat
When the meat is ready, drain it with a skimmer. Keep it warm in a covered deep dish with the caramelized pearl onions and the mushrooms.
The finish of the sauce
Filter the bouillon from the stewpot and take 7 dl.
Gradually pour the bouillon in the saucepan on low heat. Thicken the sauce with the whisk.
Mix the egg yolks into the cream using a bowl. Pour the eggs and cream into the saucepan, then cook it on a low heat. Stir the sauce gently with a wooden spoon until it gets thicker.
Add salt and grounded white pepper to your taste.
Just before serving, coat the meat in sauce, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and use a bowl to serve the rest of the sauce on the table : your guests will probably like not to waste any !
For this pairing, we want to highlight the nice color of the exquisite creamy sauce and the tender texture of the meat with an excellent white wine.
The identity of a powerful terroir is needed here to answer to the character of this dish.
To pair with the mushrooms, the wine should be subltly aged in old oak barrels, and the unctuosity of the sauce will be enhanced with slight buttery notes from the malolactic fermentation. Some ripe citrus notes would be a plus, to add some freshness to the match.
Why not a delicious Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuissé in the South of Burgundy ? Maison Valette produces some of the best Chardonnay in the area, as well as the Tripoz family or the Domaine Cordier.. to name just a few of our talented neighbors of the Mâcon region !