I confess that I like this stew so much that I even male it in winter with frozen peas.
But the glorious thing about this stew is making it when all the new vegetables arrive in Spring and using really young ones. I make this stew with anything, from young veal to beef, lamb or even chicken, they all come out brilliant.
I love contrast of taste of the sweet young peas, young turnips and the baby carrots, with the chilli… it’s a melody of glorious Spring tastes. And I love to sit down in the garden shelling peas under the Spring sun, I think that’s my favourite part!
I make it so many times but hadn’t a clue of how to put it down in measurements so I had to make it to measure. Hence, having no peas yet in my vegetable garden, I used frozen young peas. When choosing frozen peas, check with your fingers the size of the peas in the package – choose the brand that has the smallest peas, they will be more tender and sweeter. —Maria Teresa Jorge
young veal or beef, cut in 2 inch cubes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
medium new onions diced finely - for brunoise
medium carrot cut in very small cubes for brunoise
celery stalk cut in small pieces for brunoise
garlic cloves, minced finely for brunoise (remove inner green part)
fresh parsley with stalk
vegetable stock hot
baby carrots or young carrots cut in half then 2 lengthwise
small pearl onions peeled and left whole
young turnips, peeled and cut in medium size pieces
medium leeks, just the white part, sliced medium thin
6 to 8
medium Russet potatoes peeled and cut in medium size cubes
Season the meat with salt and 1 teaspoon of chilli powder and set aside.
Prepare all your vegetables in different bowls and set aside. There are vegetables diced very small for the brunoise to cook with the meat and you have another list of spring vegetables cut in medium sized cubes that are added after the meat is cooked so keep them seperated. Add cold water to the potatoes so they don’t turn black.
In a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid (type dutch oven), melt the olive oil and butter with the bay leaf.
Add the minced onions, the bay leaves, carrots, garlic, parsley with the stalks and celery to the pan and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring until the onion is translucent.
Add the meat and brown on all sides.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stir well with a wooden spatula to dislodge any pieces stuck to the pan and let the wine reduce completely, meaning, there won't be any wine left in the pan.
Add the hot stock to 2/3 of the height of the meat, season "lightly" with salt and the remaining chilli powder.
Cook with lid on for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours over minimum heat or until the meat is very tender, stirring from time to time and adding more warm stock if needed but never over 2/3 of the height of the meat.
Add the turnips, baby carrots, leeks, pearl onions and potatoes and stir. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes with lid on, adding more vegetable stock if needed but keep it quite restricted. You want the sauce now to thicken with the starch of the potatoes.
At the last minute add the peas and cook another 3 or 4 minutes without the lid, until the potatoes are completely done.
Discard the bay leaves and the parsley, check the seasoning and serve immediately.