Today my husband and I celebrated our joint birthdays. Born just one year apart, we have been sharing this birthdate since we first started dating as teenagers hundreds of moons ago, and for several years we also shared the occasion at a favorite restaurant. with my mother, who was born on November 13.
Today I did not feel at all like eating out, but rather inclined to prepare a special breakfast and dinner for a fraction of the cost of fine restaurant dining. We started our day with challah French toast – made with the challah I baked on Friday – crispy bacon, Vermont maple syrup, juice and French roast coffee. For dinner, my plan was to develop a richly flavored veal ragout incorporating the beautiful veal stew meat and portobello mushroom caps I found at our market on Friday. It turned out exactly as I had hoped, the sauce layered with flavor, the veal fork-tender, and the meaty chunks of mushrooms an excellent counterbalance to the meat. Served over egg noodles with just some bright steamed broccoli and another slice of that challah alongside, a restaurant-quality meal by the fire in our dining room.
VEAL AND MUSHROOM RAGOUT WITH MARSALA
2 lbs. veal stew cut into 1- to 1-1/2 inch pieces
Flour lightly seasoned with S&P for dredging
1 large onion and 1 large shallot chopped (about 2 cups total)
1 medium carrot chopped and 1 celery stalk chopped (about 1 cup total)
2 tbsp each unsalted butter and EVOO + 1 additional tbsp butter
10-12 ounces cremini or portobello mushrooms halved and sliced thickly
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried sage
2 cups chicken broth (Better Than Bouillion)
¾ cup sweet Marsala
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp truffle oil
chopped Italian parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in 4-5 quart Dutch oven. Dredge veal in seasoned flour and brown in batches, removing with tongs to a plate. In same pot, sauté the onions, shallots, carrot and celery until softened, scraping up any browned bits from veal on bottom of the pot. Add the mushrooms and additional tbsp butter and continue to sauté until they just start to brown.
Add the Marsala to the pot, deglaze briefly, then add the oregano, sage, chicken broth and veal, and bring to simmer. Bake about 1-1/2 hours until veal is very tender.
Remove solids to a plate, add truffle oil and honey to the sauce and reduce briefly over medium-high heat. Return everything to the pot and keep warm until serving time. Serve over egg noodles and garnish with chopped parsley.