Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Veal stew with cipollini onions

The Gastronati met again! This time we feasted on Italian fare. This stew, again from Giada De Laurentiis' Giada's Family Dinners, was my contribution to our sumptuous smorgasbord. Stay tuned for more on Italian Night - I am just waiting for Calimocho to send me the pics as S's camera was out of juice that night.

My favourite thing about this stew is that it's a one-pot meal - easy peasy and just one vessel to clean up. My second favourite thing is the cipollini onions. It's rare to get the chance to eat things as cute as cipollini onions. Plus I just like saying cheep-o-LINI! (I must find a way to work it into everyday conversation.)

Veal Stew with Cipollini Onions
(serves 6)

a bag of cipollini onions (about 28)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2.5 lb veal stew meat (you can substitute beef, lamb or chicken)
salt and pepper
1/3 C flour
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or however much you want)
1 1/4 C dry white wine
2.5 C chicken stock
7 or 8 oz can diced tomatoes in their juice
14 small red-skinned potatoes (or 4 big ones cut into eighths)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 C fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

In a stock pot, cook the unpeeled cipollinis for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel them and cut off the root ends (this will take about 5 minutes).

Heat the oil in the stock pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the veal with salt and pepper and then coat with flour. Add veal to pot in batches and fry until browned on both sides (about 8 minutes per batch). Set aside.

Add garlic and thyme to the same pot and saute for about a minute. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the crispy bits. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half (about 3 minutes). Return the veal to the pot.

Add the broth and tomatoes with juice. Partially cover and simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and simmer uncovered for another 25 minutes, again stirring once in a while. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with thick wedges of crusty bread.


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