Veal Fricassee with Spring Vegetables

Spring has arrived along with the long summer nights. Now the days are longer than the nights. The brown and gray fields are starting to change colors. The rapeseed blossoms are amazingly yellow. New and fresh vegetables are popping up at the markets. The animals that have been indoors all winter are again appearing in the field almost jumping for joy with the sight of all the green grass. Asparagus, one of the most popular vegetables Denmark is now appearing on every menu, and it is considered a special treat. Confirmations, weddings, and christenings are taking place all over the country and asparagus are almost always included in the celebrations. Whenever the sun is shining, the Danes are outside soaking it up. Cafes and restaurants set tables and chairs out on the sidewalks, and the Danes are stopping to enjoy lunch or maybe just a cup of coffee with pastry.   

Veal Fricassee with Spring Vegetables

(Kalvefrikasse med Nye Grønsager)

Serves 6-8

2 lb. (910 g or 1 kilo) veal, shoulder or brisket

3 tsp. salt per quart of water

Bouquet garni:

1½ lb.(700 g) new carrots, leave them whole if they are small, if not, slice in 1½ (3.75 cm) inches

3 leeks, washed thoroughly to remove grit and chopped  

1 cauliflower, cut into small florets

½ lb. (230 g) shelled peas

Bouquet garni:

1 leek top (only the green leaves)

2 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs parsley

string to tie bouquet garni

Sauce:

2 cups (16 fl. oz.)  light cream

5 tbsp. cornstarch

2 cups (½ quart) stock

salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

To make veal, put meat in a pot and pour enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil and skim the broth. Add salt and bouquet garni to pot. Cover and simmer over low heat, about 1½ hours. Transfer meat to a plate and remove bones. Cut or shred meat into bite-size pieces and set aside

To make vegetables, remove bouquet garni and cook carrots, leeks and cauliflower 2-3 minutes in cooking liquid. Transfer vegetables to a plate and strain 4 cups (1 quart) of liquid into a large pot. Stir cornstarch into the cream and pour into pot with cooking broth. Boil broth 2 minutes. Add carrots, cauliflower, and peas and bring to boiling. Add meat, season with salt and pepper.

To serve, arrange fricassee on a hot platter or large bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.

Suggested accompaniment: Boiled new potatoes.    

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