Friday, October 1, 2010

Veal stew with artichokes and chives, served with parmesan polenta

I love summer and the food that surrounds it. As summer is officially over and we move into fall and winter, more so on some nights, the stews and comfort food start to make an appearance. Though last night was not cold, or even cool I felt compelled to make something homey and soft, ( Jane is having tooth trouble). I like making meals that require some cooking time and can be prepared hours before service, it makes eating them more enjoyable for me as well, I can forget that I made the dish and just eat it. Another nice thing about stews and such is that you can work with the flavors over time, change things you don't like, or let new things develop, never know what direction something, even an old favorite might take.
Starting with 2 Lbs of veal stew meat, seasoned with dried sage, cumin, salt and pepper and dredged in flour, brown in 3 Tbl olive oil on both sides, you are looking for a good crust to seal the meat. Make sure you do this in a heavy bottomed pot, as burning can be an issue. I have this funny beat up pot my Mother likely bought in the 50's and somehow has survived both her and at times my nomadic lifestyle, but NOTHING burns in it, I love it.
Add 1 Spanish onion, lg dice
2 carrots, cut in similar size to the onions
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Sweat these for ten minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add 3 cups beef stock, 15 minced capers, 1 sprig of rosemary,10 chives, chopped, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper, bring to a slow boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour. Uncover and add one can,, yes can,, I said it, sometimes canned artichokes just easier and in the winter, far more available. I used pre quartered artichokes, but you can quarter your own, or if really feeling ambitious you can use fresh. At this point you are just adjusting the thickness of the sauce by reduction, so the ball is in your court,, thick or thinner,, both are delicious and depending on what you are serving the stew with may dictate how thick the sauce is. Right before service I check for seasoning and added some more fresh chives.
For the polenta you can use instant, or plain corn meal. I substitute stock, in this case beef, for water and added grated Parmesan and butter at the end.
A bowl seemed the only fitting vessel for this meal with the veal stew sitting on top of the polenta, garnish with scallions, the whole meal was served with a micro green salad, Italian dressing and some warm corn bread. Since most of the work, short of the polenta was done by mid afternoon, I was able to sit down and dig in, kitchen clean and conscience clear. So enjoy and share..whats for dinner tonight?


  1. comfort food is my favorite. sounds yummy

  2. Gorgeous! Cook and camera, amazing!