A veal stew for a 'stationfiets'

March 1st, 2008 § 0 comments

One thing I love about living in the Netherlands is my ‘stationfiets’ (understand old rusty bike that nobody would want to steal from you)… About every one has one in the Netehrlands in addition to a more fancy bike for the weekends’ promenade. It is the perfect companion of the lazy french girl that I am. I use it all year long, in all weather conditions: to go to work, shopping (I once carried an ironing board home on my bike) or to go out for a couple of drinks. I’d even take it to do the groceries a couple of hundreds meters from home. It is old and rusty, the gears don’t work anymore, it makes a funny noise when I ride it and it’s so ugly that no one would steal it. I just love it and would not dream of a fancy shiny bike instead! (My dutchie who’s more into the racing bikes thinks I’m completely insane).

About four months ago my beloved bike let me down in pouring rain with two heavy bags of groceries, the chain seemed to have broken. Soaked, I walked home and didn’t use it since then. After a quick look at it on a cold rainy sunday, my dutchie’s diagnostic was that I needed a new bike. Pfff. I set it in the back of the garden until better days and started to enjoy the warmth of my best friend’s car every day to work while I would complain about the crowded trams in the weekends.  But since last month, with the days getting lighter and sunnier, I really couldn’t go much longer without a bike. I went to a couple of secondhand bikes shop trying to find a replacement but no bike was old and rusty enough for me. Finally last weekend, my dutchie felt sorry for me and went at the back of the garden to fix my old bike the best he could…

First day back on the bike was cold but sunny, the side of the road was paved with crocuses, I was almost happy to go to work. On my way back, I could finally stop again in the bankastraat* at the small vegetable stall I like so much ( probably the fact that the owner always gives me a clementine or a prune or a couple of fragrant strawbwerries everytime I stop there has something to do with it). It’s next to a pretty good butcher as well so I thought I’d treat my dutchie with some good meat that evening, a sort of thank you for fixing my lovely crappy bike…. Ok, I’d just bought turnips to go with it too, but I know a way that no one can resist them…. caramelised with stewed veal.

Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (0)
How to bring a carnivore to eating turnips…

Stewed veal and caramelised turnips
Veau mijoté et petit navets caramélisés

serves 4 pers.
prep: 20 min. cook: 1h20 min

1kg stewing veal, cut into large cubes,
3 shallots, thinly chopped, 
60g butter,
20 cl dry white wine (I used a chardonnay),
1 bouquet garni (bay leave, thyme, parsley)
500g young round turnips, peeled and sliced in ~1/2 cm thick slices
2 Tsp honey,
sea salt and pepper to taste,
Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (1)Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (3)

In a cocotte or in a heavy bottom pan, brown the veal in half of the butter on high heat until coloured on all sides. Add the chopped shallots and the bouquet garni. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the white wine and lower the heat. Simmer covered for 1 hour.
In the meantime, melt the rest of the butter and one Tsp honey in a wide pan on  medium heat. Dispose the turnips slices one next to each other in the pan (you can proceed in two times if they do not fit all at once), season with salt and pepper, add a couple of Tsp from the stewing veal sauce and the rest of the honey cook for 10 min until on each size until the turnips are nicely caramelised and tender. Keep an eye on your pan as it might be necessary to adjust the heat or add a couple of Tsp extra stewing veal sauce or water so that the turnips don’t burn. After your stew has nicely simmered for one hour, add the caramelised turnips carefully to the stew and leave to simmer covered for 20 more minutes on very low heat. Et voila! Serve with mashed potatoes, celeriac or parsnips. The stewed veal made this way can serve as a basis to many stews. You can serve it as is, without thje turnips, or use carrots, parsnips, oignons, whatever you fancy or have at hand that day.

Bon appétit!

Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (4)

* The bankastraat is full of great little food shops, in addition to the butcher Matla, there’s also a ‘natuurwinkel’ and a great delicatessen shop, Grandjean. Check the ‘Shop for food in NL’ page for more details

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