French-Style Veal and Mushroom Stew

Quite similar to the French classic Blanquette de veau à l’ancienne popularized in America by Julia Child, this preparation features ethically-raised, pastured veal, brown mushrooms, garlic, onions, demi-glace, Madeira wine, heavy cream and fresh thyme.  Serve over smashed potatoes or egg noodles..

“Veal usually comes from the male dairy calf or Bob calves, mostly of the Holstein breed. The meat is delicate in flavor, firm, fine grained and of a light pink color. A good Ossobucco con Polenta, made of veal shank, and accompanied by a glass of robust Sangiovese wine, can be the perfect meal for a cold winter evening.

Organic and industrial farming methods of raising the calves differ:

In factory farms, calves are raised indoors in small individual pens and fed intensively and exclusively on milk substitutes with plenty of antibiotics added in for good measure. Herbaceous food is excluded from their diets, resulting in iron deficiency which produces the “desirable” almost white meat of most supermarket veal.

Organically raised calves are fed with their mothers’ milk; fresh, whole and still warm from the cow. After the calves are two weeks old they are kept outdoors (weather permitting), untethered and in small groups of 4-8 where they have adequate space for exercise and social contact with other calves.

Calves will want to pasture when outdoors, which is only natural as grass provides iron and vitamins which they need to grow healthy.

The meat of pastured veal will not be as white as ordinary veal, but that’s a small price to pay for supporting farms that raise healthy and happy calves. ”  –LocalHarvest

10 thoughts on “French-Style Veal and Mushroom Stew

  1. Excellent lesson in distinguishing the history of veal and that is not lamb…and the recipe is classic. Some actually think that veal is a form of venison. Untethered love that word!

    1. Those were the bad old days.

      “A strong animal welfare movement concerning veal started in the 1980s with the release of photographs of veal calves tethered in crates where they could barely move. After the release of these photographs, veal sales have plummeted, and have never recovered.

      Many veal farmers have started improving conditions in their veal farms… Strauss Brands is the first veal packer in the U.S. to raise veal calves completely tether-free and group-raised.” –Wikipedia

  2. Having grown up in a world that had already been exposed to those photos I’ve never had the opportunity to try veal. I’m officially adding it to the menu request for your next visit. God I wish you could be here for Christmas to go to the Pueblo spectacle and The Taos Inn with us!!!!

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