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This type of dish, more typical of the middle class than the nobility, first appeared in the eighteenth century, along with the thickening of sauces with flour and cream. In the nineteenth century, sauces were thickened with cream and an egg, and at the end of the cooking, separately sautéed onions and mushrooms were added. We prefer thickening with cream alone, as this is lighter. And we add a touch of vanilla. Untraceable by taste, it makes the sauce even more sensuous.
This most traditional of dishes in French cuisine has not changed substantially since the eighteenth century: it is all there, meat carefully boiled, velvety sauce, cream, lemon juice etc. It is an outstanding dish that requires skill to achieve the perfect consistency, and is an excellent example of some techniques of grande cuisine.
- For Meat:
- 1 1/2 pounds veal shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound veal breast, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- For Vegetables:
- 2 cups chicken broth (stock)
- 3 carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 4 tender celery leaves
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- For Sauce:
- 1/2 cup thick creme fraiche
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Fresh tagliatelle with sage, for serving
FOR MEAT: Boil water in a large pot and immerse the pieces of meat. Boil for 1 minute; drain and rinse the meat under cold water: this way, you will make a very clear broth.
FOR VEGETABLES: Pour the broth into a 5-quart pot. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, celery leaves, shallot, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour 40 minutes.
FOR SAUCE: Pour the contents of the pot through a strainer set over a large saucepan. Discard the garlic and return the meat and vegetables to the cooking pot. Boil the cooking liquid in the saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup. Whisk in the creme fraiche, vanilla extract and lemon juice and continue whisking for 1 minute.
TO SERVE: Pour the thickened and flavored sauce over the meat, and warm for 5 minutes over very low heat. Serve at once with fresh tagliatelle garnished with sage.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
623 calories; 38g total fat; 260mg cholesterol; 328mg sodium; 12g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 56g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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