What Part Of Veal Is Blanquette?

Veal is a popular dish across many cultures, and there are a variety of ways to prepare it. One classic French preparation is called blanquette de veau, or veal blanquette. This dish is known for its tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat, creamy sauce, and aromatic vegetables.

However, there is often confusion about what part of the veal is used in blanquette. Is it the shoulder? The leg? The loin? In this article, we will dive into the details of this delicious dish, including the cut of meat typically used, the history of the dish, and some tips for making it at home.

Key Takeaway
Blanquette is a French dish made with veal shoulder or shanks, which are slow-cooked in a white sauce with aromatic vegetables such as onions, carrots, and celery. The meat is traditionally left on the bone for added flavor and richness. Therefore, the part of veal used in blanquette can be the shoulder or shank.

Understanding Veal: Origin and Types

Veal is the meat of young calves, usually under three months old. While some people may have ethical concerns about consuming veal, it is important to note that there are various types of veal that come from different sources. For example, some veal may come from calves that are raised in dark, confined spaces, while others may come from calves that are raised in more spacious environments with access to light and a natural diet.

In terms of origin, veal is consumed in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America. It is a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes, from classic Italian osso buco to French blanquette de veau. Depending on the region and the cooking tradition, different parts of the calf may be used for different types of dishes. Understanding the origin and types of veal can help you make informed choices about what to buy and how to prepare it.

Creating a Classic French Dish: The History of Blanquette de Veau

Blanquette de Veau is a classic French dish that has been enjoyed by many for decades. This dish dates back to the 19th century when the middle class in France began to adopt elaborate cuisine, which was previously reserved for the aristocracy. It was originally made with poultry, but later, veal became the preferred meat for this dish.

The dish, when translated, means ‘blanched veal’ and is named after the white sauce that it is cooked in. The white sauce gives the dish its signature creamy texture and flavor. Blanquette de veau has become a staple dish in French homes and bistro menus across the world. The creamy and mild flavors of this dish make it an ideal comfort food, and it is typically served with a side of rice or boiled vegetables.

The Anatomy of Veal: What Makes Up the Meat Used in Blanquette

Veal is a type of meat that comes from young cattle that are no more than six months old. Because of their young age, veal is tender and has a mild yet distinct flavor. The meat used in blanquette is typically from the shoulder, shank, or breast of the veal.

The shoulder cut of veal is especially popular for blanquette as it contains a significant amount of connective tissue. Slow-cooking this cut breaks down the tissue and creates a rich, velvety sauce. The shank and breast cuts also work well for blanquette due to their unique combination of flavor, texture, and connective tissue. Understanding these various cuts of veal ensures that the dish is not only delicious but also prepared using the appropriate meat.

Cooking Techniques: How to Prepare the Perfect Blanquette de Veau

Blanquette de veau may look intimidating to cook, but it’s actually quite simple. This classic French dish involves simmering veal and aromatic vegetables in a creamy white sauce for hours until the meat becomes tender. The key to a perfect blanquette de veau is to cook the meat on low heat, so it doesn’t overcook and become tough.

After browning the veal, deglaze the pan with white wine, and add aromatic vegetables such as onion, carrot, celery, and garlic with some herbs like thyme, bay leaf, and parsley. Then, add chicken or beef broth and simmer on low heat until the meat is fork-tender. Once it’s cooked through, add some sautéed mushrooms and a creamy sauce made from a roux, heavy cream, and egg yolks to thicken it up. Serve this delicious and hearty dish with rice, pasta, or some crusty bread to mop up all the flavorful sauce.

Pairing Wine with Blanquette: A Guide to Choose the Right Bottle

Pairing Wine with Blanquette: A Guide to Choose the Right Bottle

Blanquette, a classic French dish made from veal and white sauce, pairs well with a variety of wines. The subtle flavors of the dish are enhanced by a light and refreshing white wine that complements its creamy texture. Moreover, the wine helps to cut through the richness of the veal, creating a balance of flavors that is both satisfying and delicious.

Some of the best wines to pair with Blanquette include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Riesling. Sauvignon Blanc is a popular choice because of its lemon and grass undertones, which complement the tangy taste of the sauce. Chardonnay, on the other hand, is a great option for those who prefer a fuller-bodied wine that brings out the richness of the dish. The crispness of Pinot Blanc and the sweetness of Riesling are also perfect matches for the lightness of Blanquette. Ultimately, the right pairing depends on personal preference, but following these suggestions can help to create the perfect meal.

Beyond Blanquette: Other Delicious Veal Dishes to Try

Beyond Blanquette: Other Delicious Veal Dishes to Try

Veal is an incredibly versatile meat and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Beyond the classic French blanquette, there are many other delicious veal recipes to try.

For a lighter option, try a veal piccata which features thin slices of veal sautéed in a lemon and butter sauce. Another popular dish is the Italian osso buco which is a slow-cooked veal shank served with a gremolata of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. For a hearty meal, try a German schnitzel made with breaded and fried veal cutlets. No matter what your taste buds crave, there is a veal dish out there for everyone.

Ethical Considerations: The Veal Industry’s Impact on Animal Welfare.

The veal industry has come under scrutiny for the perceived mistreatment of calves. Many animal rights organizations have pointed out the inhumane practices of the industry, including the use of small crates for confinement, the separation of the calf from its mother shortly after birth, and the feeding of an iron-deficient diet to the animal in order to produce pale meat. These practices have led to protests from animal rights groups and wider public awareness of the veal industry’s impact on animal welfare.

In response, some producers have implemented new standards and practices to address these concerns. For example, some use open pens for calves to promote social interaction and movement, rather than small crates. Others have implemented feeding regimens that produce more nutrient-rich meat without sacrificing the animal’s health. Despite these efforts, the ethical considerations of the veal industry continue to remain a controversial topic. It is important for consumers to be informed about the source of their veal and to support producers who prioritize animal welfare in their practices.


After deep analysis of the recipe and its ingredients, it can be concluded that blanquette is indeed a meat dish traditionally made with veal. The meat used is typically from the shoulder or leg, and is simmered in a white sauce made of butter, flour, and stock.

Although veal has been a controversial topic due to animal welfare concerns, it remains a popular ingredient in French cuisine. For those who choose to consume meat, it is important to consider the ethical sourcing and treatment of animals. Overall, understanding the origin and components of classic dishes such as blanquette can provide insight into the cultural and culinary traditions of a region.

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