Tender meat. I could end the post with that thought and we'd all be swimming in visions of joy. But I've decided to add more, my friends. And you'll need a fork to see what I mean.
Yes, I said stew, a warm and hearty recipe for a cold winter's night that requires a bowl, napkin and large spoon. But although you'll slurp up the delicious broth that swims alongside the flavorful meat, you will be tempted -- more like urged to the brink of obsession -- to put a fork in it.
See those gorgeous colors? Achieved through adding two kinds of beans, lovely and tender carrots and the final addition of a little parsley, it's a veritable triple threat of flavor and textures. Although a good, homemade veal stock would put it up there with Food and Wine aficionados, you can obtain the rich results needed with a cube of beef bouillon and a little roux at the end to tighten it. But don't forget creating excellence by underscoring the earthy flavors with a high-end yet accessible (It's based in Waxhaw, NC,) olive oil from Olive Crate.
It clearly starts with the right seasonings, which are only meaningful when you layer flavors. I know, I know. You like those recipes where everything is added all at once; where you stir it together, put a lid on it, and watch it magically simmer into perfection. I'm here to tell you it may simmer, and it may taste great, but once you start tasting food that has been lovingly procured in stages, you won't go back to the one-step process AT ALL.
A key to this layering was to toss the meat in the spices and oil before I seared them. Letting the flesh sit in the bath of color and intensity gives it a chance to change it's mind about just being a piece of protein and start imagining being transformed into a elevated, beautiful serving of your perfect supper.
I know I don't have to sell this to you. You're on this blog because you love to cook food, look at food, read about food, eat food! But maybe you need to be braver when it comes to yearning for a one-pot meal. I'm here to tell you be brave. Just start stacking things on the counter for inspiration, and begin to imagine how delicious it could be when you put your mind to it, a spoon through it, and a fork in it!
RECIPE: Veal, Bean and Vegetable Stew
Serves 6 / Click here for printable version
1 ½ lb veal stew meat, cut into large chunks
¼ C good olive oil, divided (Olive Crate is my choice!)
½ t coriander powder divided
½ t paprika
¼ t fennel salt
¼ t dried oregano (Olive Crate is also my choice!)
1-2 t sea salt, divided
1 t white pepper, divided
3 medium stalks celery sliced
3 small carrots, sliced
¼ medium sized sweet onion diced
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 ½ C water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 can kidney beans with liquid
1 can white cannelloni beans with liquid
4 T catsup
Fresh thyme and flat leaf parsley
1 T flour
1 C finely grated parmigiana reggiano cheese
Toss veal chunks in a bowl with 2 T oil, ¼ t coriander powder, ¼ t fennel salt, white pepper, paprika, oregano, 1 t salt. Heat another T or so of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Sear the veal mixture in the pan until slightly caramelized but not cooked all the way through. Add the onion and toss to soften the onion for a minute or so. Add the garlic and toss in the heat for about 30 second. Add the vegetables and stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the two cans of beans, the water, and stir until bubbling. Add the beef bouillon cube, and the remaining spices, then stir to break up cube. Nest fresh sprigs of thyme on top, cover and simmer for an hour on low (make sure it is still just simmering and bubbling slightly.)
After the hour, remove lid and bring heat up to medium low for a better simmering boil. Mix the flour with about ¼ C water and mix to combine. Then slowly drizzle in the flour mixture and stir until the stew thickens a bit. You don’t want gravy consistency, but you do want a tighter broth. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and top with chopped parsley.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style is one of combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.