Veal and turnip stew with white wine ended up in a pot today because I was given two bags of freshly picked purple top turnips.
A veal and turnip stew with white wine is a classic dish that brings an elegant comfort and much winter happiness. I think if kitchens could talk, they would want more slow cooked, braised stews sitting on the stove in December.
I know some people don’t eat veal, but it goes with my Italian heritage. I remember my grandmother baking a calf’s head in the oven. I was not shocked. I was not in awe. I was mortified for a minute or two, but as I watched my uncle chew eye balls, I thought this must be gourmet food. We were not exactly poor and I didn’t think that they were eating this because it was all that was left to eat. I knew this was a clear choice. After googling baked calf’s head, I discovered it’s a vintage dish, eaten frequently back in the 1800’s and I found a few recipes, but no pictures. Old recipes are so interesting. There is more refinement than one might expect and a deep appreciation for all the parts of the animal. I’m not as adventurous as my grandmother, but I have always been more willing to make food that is not Italian.
This veal stew is just simple veal shoulder, cut into cubes and quite lean. Nothing exotic, but it’s veal, and it has flavor. I usually approach veal more delicately than beef, choosing a white wine for braising instead of red. The only thing I would change the next time is to use pearl onions instead of regular onions. Veal, even in a simple stew, is a classy dish.
Tell me, what’s your favorite pot of happiness on the stove in the winter?
- 2 pounds veal cubes
- salt, black pepper
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, sliced or 24 pear onions
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 carrots cut into large chunky pieces
- 2 turnips cut into size suitable for stew, larger than cubes
- generous sprigs of thyme, saving some for garnish
- handful of parsley, saving some for garnish
- black peppercorns
- Dry veal cubes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss in bag with the flour.
- Add the whole bag into the olive oil and brown on all sides, making sure to scrape bottom of pan for all the bits.
- Remove veal cubes to another dish.
- In same pot (remove any big pieces of flour that cooked), add garlic, onions, and cook just until softened.
- Add in white wine and cook for ten minutes. Add in butter, stir.
- Add thyme and parsley (you can wrap in cheesecloth for later removal)
- Add in veal. Cook on low for 2½ hours.
- Add carrots and turnips. Cook for another hour or until carrots are softened.