Blanquette of Veal

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Four


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About

This is one of the most delicious veal dishes from the French kitchen. The recipe looks long but it is easy to make.


  • pounds veal shoulder, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 12 peppercorns or ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • 24 small white onions
  • 12 fresh mushrooms or ½ cup canned button mushrooms
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • canned beef or chicken broth (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Place the cubes of veal in a deep saucepan or kettle and add enough water to cover the meat. Bring gently to a boil and skim the surface as the foam rises. Cook, skimming as necessary, for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, and the onion studded with cloves. Trim off and discard both ends of each carrot. Cut each carrot into quarters and add them to the saucepan. Cover the saucepan. Return the liquid to a boil and simmer until meat is tender, about 1½ hours. If the meat is not tender at the end of that time, continue cooking.

  3. When the meat is done, use a slotted spoon and remove the meat to a warm mixing bowl. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm. Return the cooking liquid in the saucepan to a boil and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes. This will concentrate the broth somewhat and strengthen its flavor.

  4. Meanwhile, peel the 24 onions and place them in a saucepan. Add water to cover and salt and simmer, uncovered, until onions are tender but still firm. Do not overcook.

  5. While the onions cook, wash the mushrooms (if you are using fresh ones) under cold running water. Drain, then trim off the stems even with the caps and discard. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the mushroom caps. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. (Rinsing the mushrooms and adding the lemon juice helps keep the mushrooms white.) Sprinkle the mushrooms lightly with salt. When the mushrooms are tender, remove them from the heat.

  6. Strain the liquid in which the veal cooked. Measure the liquid. There should be about 2 cups. If not, add a little canned beef or chicken broth to make 2 cups. Bring the broth to a boil.

  7. Using the fingers, blend the flour with the remaining butter. The mixture should be smooth. Add this, bit by bit, to the simmering broth while stirring constantly with a wire whisk or other beater. When the mixture is thickened and smooth, season it to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat.

  8. Beat the egg yolks with the cream until well blended. Add this to the sauce, stirring rapidly and constantly with a whisk. Return the sauce to the heat and cook, stirring, until mixture is thickened. Do not let the sauce boil or it may curdle. Add the remaining lemon juice and the meat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Heat thoroughly without boiling. Serve with rice.