The delicate, classical crème Germiny soup and the homely blanquette are first cousins; this recipe is, on the one hand, essentially that of a Germiny garnished with meat and, on the other, that of a blanquette enhanced by the presence of sorrel. It goes without saying that it is entirely different from both in effect. Little butter-stewed onions may be added as a garnish and fresh egg noodles are the perfect accompaniment; I sometimes cook a couple of handsful of freshly shelled peas with the noodles, toss the lot in butter after being drained, and consider the ensemble pretty spectacular.
Stew the parboiled and drained sorrel in butter over low heat, stirring regularly, until its moisture has disappeared and it is reduced to a near purée—15 minutes or so. Put it aside.
Place the slices of shank, the bouquet, and the onion stuck with cloves in a large plat à sauter, oven casserole, etc., just large enough to hold them neatly fitted into place in a single layer. Pour over water to barely cover, salt, bring to a boil, and cook, covered, at a bare simmer for 1½ hours or until the veal is just tender.
Remove and discard the bouquet and the onion. Remove the pieces of meat to a plate (carefully, so as not to dislodge the marrow) while pouring the liquid into another vessel and return them to their casserole, keeping covered in a warm place until the sauce is finished.
Prepare a velouté with the roux and the cooking liquid, pouring the latter in slowly over a low flame, stirring all the while, and, when it has returned to a boil, pull the saucepan somewhat to the side of the heat so that a light boil is maintained at one side of the liquid’s surface. Cook for about ½ hour, skimming off the fatty skin that forms on the still part of the surface. The velouté should be only very slightly thickened; pour it over the meat, return to a simmer, and leave for another 10 minutes or so—the time necessary for the meat to become thoroughly reheated in the sauce.
Remove the stew from the heat. Pour the cream slowly into the cooled, stewed sorrel, stirring until smooth. Stir in vigorously the egg yolks and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the mixture to the stew, stirring and taking care not to damage the pieces of meat. Return the stew to low heat and continue stirring gently until the sauce takes on a bit more body—it must not return to the boiling point, nor should it be very thick. Serve, preferably directly from the cooking receptacle.
Copyright © 1974 by Richard Olney. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.