Eating dinner at the table together is nostalgic for me. As a child my family always ate together at the table. By no means were my parents culinary geniuses, but regardless of what was happening during my parents busy days, we always sat together at the table at night for a meal and conversation. I have found this slightly slipping away lately in our family, as we have been delving back into renovation word before the holiday season hits hard. We have been eating at different times, one of us standing eating straight from the pan, the other waiting until "later" once we've unwound after a long stressful day. So, this dish came haphazardly out of that chaos and lack of dining together.
I quickly ran home on my lunch break to throw something in my crockpot. Patrick has been skeptical on crockpot meals, being a true believer that there are steps to traditional cooking that shouldn't be omitted. "Throwing" something in the crockpot could potentially lack in depth, and I totally understood that. So, feeling guilty turned on the cast iron, tossed the veal in flour and spices and browned it in the pan while I scurried around grabbing my crockpot and everything else I needed.
I utilized what we had recently harvested from our garden; turnips and carrots and married it with potatoes, kale and some beautiful beans from a local bean farm in Maine that Patrick had from a visit there last fall. I put it all in the pot and said a prayer (thinking it would turn out pretty tasty from the quality ingredients) but was prepared to self criticize and probably never make it again.
The house smelled SO good when I got home. The beans (which were put in dried) had added such a nice consistency to the broth I had cooked down throughout the course of the day. The veal was melt in your mouth tender and hovering over it at the table was just what I wanted. To be honest, I didn't even think about posting this recipe at all. But, we portioned some for a photo and with the spoon of approval from Patrick here it is. It is such a comfort food, a great rainy day dish to enjoy with family.
Braised Veal Stew with Root Vegetable Recipe
1.3 lbs veal (stew meat from shoulder is best)
32 oz organic beef stock
32 oz organic vegetable stock
3 yukon gold potatoes (large dice)
2 medium carrots (we used both white and dragon carrots for color!)
1 cup dried mar fax beans (or what you have on hand)
1 cup dried sulfur beans (or what you have on hand)
4 cups kale chopped
1 small turnip (peeled and diced)
1 small head of garlic (minced)
Note: We used a crockpot for this recipe, but this recipe works well in a dutch oven too! Just adjust your oven to 325f and your cooking time to 3.5 hours.
Pour both beef and vegetable broth into Crockpot and turn on low setting.
Meanwhile, dice potatoes (skin on is fine) and turnips and chop carrots rustically, adding them to the broth.
Roughly chop the Kale and add to Crockpot.
Mince the garlic and add to the mix
Add the Marfax and Sulfur beans to the broth.
Pat veal dry and toss in flour until evenly coated. Season well with salt and pepper.
Coat bottom of cast iron pan with oil on medium-high heat
Place stew meat in pan and brown on all sides, add to Crockpot when done browning.
Cover Crockpot and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours.
*Finished product may look a little "soupy". Take a large spoon and gently stir the stew. This will thicken the soup from the beans & potatoes slightly breaking down.
Finish the stew with fresh torn parsley and black pepper