Even though it is mid-June here in CT, the weather is very cool and damp, so the thought of eating veal stew over a bed of buttered noodles sounds lovely to me. This recipe is my mother’s invention (Jeannette of the cookbook), but I have tweaked it to suit my own idiosyncracies when making any kind of stew that calls for browning the meat. I dredge the stew meat in a cup of seasoned flour and then brown it (mom browned the meat as is). The French always say,”put in the butter” so I add butter to the stew just before putting it in the oven.
When it comes out of the oven it tastes perfumed with delicate herbs, the lovely pinot gregio, the fresh mushrooms and the tiny white onions. I love this recipe because I can make the stew the day before and reheat it; I can make the buttered noodles the day before and reheat them; I can make the cabbage salad the day before and chill it in the fridge; I can greet my guests without rushing around trying to finish things while they crowd into the kitchen pummeling me with questions,and it will still taste wonderful when I serve it.
I have gotten so many brownie points for bringing this dish to sick friends or to a potluck, and I know it will turn out no matter what. Other dishes I have tried to transport didn’t fare as well – like the tomato sauce that spilled on the floor of my front seat and my car smelled like pizza for months, or the whipped cream cake (what the heck was I thinking) that flew off the back seat when I made a sudden stop. I still sob over that disaster. No folks, make this veal stew, put it in a safely covered container, go off to feed the sick, and nothing bad will happen.
1 lb veal stew meat
1 jar of small white onions, drained
2 peeled garlic cloves, cut up
2 shallots, diced fine
1 small onion, diced fine
1 cup white wine
1 cup of chicken broth
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
1 lb of white mushroom caps, sliced
1/4 cup mild olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 cup of flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, seasoned salt (optional)
2 – 4 tbsp butter
1 lb wide egg noodles
salt and pepper to taste
Dice or chop the onion and shallots finely. With a paper towel, pat the stew meat chunks dry and cut meat into bite sized pieces. Place flour, if using it, in a zip lock plastic bag. Add the meat, close it up and shake until meat is coated with flour.
Take out a heavy dutch oven and over medium high heat, heat the 1/4 cup oil in the pot. Add the cut up garlic cloves and stir them around in the oil until the cloves take on some color and have permeated the oil with flavor. Remove the garlic cloves. (I add them back in when I put the stew in the oven.)
Brown the meat in batches, adding a bit more oil, if needed, to allow the meat to brown well. Take out the meat as it browns and reserve in a separate bowl. Add the diced onions and stir them around until they soften and become translucent.
Add the chopped mushrooms and stir them around until they darken and combine well with the onions.
Add the cup of wine and bring to a boil. Stir the pot well to make sure all the browned bits loosen and combine with the liquid in the pan.
Add the browned meat, the chopped herbs, salt, pepper and the drained jar of small onions. Stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stir well. Add 2 tbsp of butter and stir well. Turn off the heat. Cover the pot and place in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
In the meantime, put 4 quarts of water in a pasta pot and bring to a boil. Throw in some salt and add the noodles. Boil them for 4 to 7 minutes. Drain them in a colander in the sink. Add them back into the pot and add in the 2 tbsp of butter stirring the noodles until all are coated. Keep the lid on the pot to keep them warm until the stew is ready.