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Braised Veal Breast with Pearl Onions and Artichokes

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pearl onions (about 20)
  • One 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bone-in veal breast (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 12 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Procedures:

While they are not always easy to find, veal breasts are inexpensive. There is a fair amount of meat around the bones and cartilage, and the taste is superb. Cover the pearl onions for 1½ cups water in a saucepan and boil gently for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Drain. Combine the onions with the frozen artichokes and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or enameled cast-iron cocotte until hot. Sprinkle the veal breast all over with the salt and pepper, place it in the hot butter, and brown over medium-high heat for a good 15 minutes, turning the veal to brown it on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Add the chopped onions and garlic to the drippings in the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Sprinkle the flour on top and mix well. Add the stock, wine, thyme, and bay leaves, mix well, and bring to a boil.

Add the veal, cover, and bring to a boil. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise for about 3 hours. (This recipe can be prepared ahead to this point and the veal set aside for up to 1 day. Bring to a simmer before proceeding.)

At serving time, transfer the pot to the stovetop, add the boiled onions and artichokes, and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice the veal and serve on hot plates, with the onions, artichokes, and a lot of the braising liquid, sprinkled with the chives.

by Jacques Pépin, Heart & Soul in the Kitchen

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