Veal Stew with Champagne

Monday December 28, 2009

Champagne is a wonderful complement to veal and makes a lovely flavorful stew. It is a great use for leftover champagne. Veal makes a milder stew than beff or venison. Par-cooking the veal before loading the slow cooker is called searing, which carmelizes the surface and adds to the overall flavor of the finished stew. Be sure to cook the carrots separately before adding so as not to get the overall flavor of the stew too sweet. Veal stew is nice with peas and mushrooms, even new potatoes, if you want to add some vegetables. Leave the champagne uncorked for an hour to let go flat if you open a new bottle. Serve this Italian style, with risotto.


Cooker: Medium or large round or oval

Setting and Cook Time: LOW for 7 to 8 hours

Serves 12


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 pounds veal stew meat or boneless veal shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or potato starch
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups brut Champagne
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 large carrots, cut into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche (optional but oh so good)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black ground pepper to taste


1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm half the butter and oil together until very hot.  Add half the veal and cook until browned on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes.  Transfer to the cooker.  Repeat with rest of veal, butter, and oil.  Add the onion and leek to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Return the veal to the skillet, sprinkle with the flour, and cook 2 minutes, stirring, to cook the flour and make a roux.  Stir in the broth and Champagne, bring to a boil, and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan, until the wine has thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Pour everything into the cooker.

2. Cover and cook on LOW until the veal is tender enough to cut with a fork, 7 to 8 hours.

3. At the end of cooking, cook the carrots in boiling water until tender; drain and add the warm carrots to the stew.  Stir in the cream, if using, and taste for seasoning.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. (c) 2007, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2015

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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