Fricassee of Veal with Crayfish

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Ingredients

  • 3 pounds white veal breast or shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 cups white veal stock or chicken-veal stock
  • 1 cup coarse mirepoix
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 24 button mushrooms, stemmed, stems reserved
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 24 pearl onions, peeled
  • ¼ pound butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 16 baby artichokes, trimmed, parboiled 10 minutes
  • 16 small carrots, peeled
  • 8 small turnips, peeled
  • 24 tiny French green beans, parboiled 2 minutes
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • ¼ cup crayfish essence
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 whole crayfish, cooked in salted water 10 minutes and cooled

Method

Put the veal in a heavy saucepan or casserole just large enough to hold the pieces side by side. Add the stock. If the liquid does not cover the meat, add water until the meat is covered by 2 inches of liquid. Bring to a simmer and skim the surface of the liquid. Add the mirepoix, bouquet garni, and mushroom stems. Salt lightly and simmer very slowly until the veal is tender, about 1½ hours.

Remove the meat and set aside covered. Strain the cooking liquid, discard the vegetables, rinse out the pot, and put the liquid back in it. Toss the mushroom caps with the lemon juice and put them and the onions in the pot. Simmer gently until onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms and onions, reserving liquid, and put them with the meat. Cover and set aside.

Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in the pot and melt it. Whisk in the flour and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Whisk in the reserved cooking liquid and simmer for 40 minutes, skimming any skin or scum that rises and forms on the surface. Add the artichokes, carrots, and turnips to the sauce and simmer until the carrots are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the beans, tarragon, reserved veal, onions, and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes.

In these last minutes, heat the crayfish essence and whisk in the remaining butter. Keep warm.

Whisk the cream and egg yolks together for 30 seconds and pour into the fricassee of veal. Add the 4 crayfish. Immediately remove the pot from the heat and stir thoroughly but gently. The sauce should thicken slightly. Taste for seasoning and serve on warm plates. Drizzle the crayfish essence over each serving and place a crayfish on top.

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