Slow-cooked veal with spinach, carrots and lemon

Slow-cooked veal with spinach, carrots and lemon

A Year In My Kitchen

I haven’t particularly come across this dish anywhere before, but it has a sense of classicism about it. As I adore wet food – food you can drag your bread through – I find it very appealing. It works well with a celeriac purée and blanched green beans, tossed with unsalted butter and a little finely chopped garlic. Or you could serve it simply with a baguette and a salad of bitter autumn leaves.


Quantity Ingredient
2.5kg shoulder of veal
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
5 carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
few thyme sprigs
3-4 bay leaves
1.5 litres veal stock
or 1.5 litres see method for ingredients
150g young leaf spinach, well washed
200ml creme fraiche


  1. Trim the veal of any fat and cut into big chunks (about 7cm). Heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Season the meat all over with salt and pepper. When the oil is really hot, brown the veal a few pieces at a time, turning them to colour evenly. (It is important not to crowd the pan otherwise the meat will stew.) Once the pieces are golden brown all over, remove from the pan and set aside on a plate while you brown the rest in batches.
  2. Lower the heat slightly, add the onions to the casserole and cook for 4–5 minutes until translucent. Squeeze over the lemon juice and stir well to deglaze. Add the mustard, carrots, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Sauté briefly, then pour in the stock and simmer for a few minutes. Return the meat to the casserole and turn the heat down to very low. Put the lid on, then leave alone to cook for 40–45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the spinach with just the water clinging to the leaves after washing. (This will be sufficient to create steam to wilt the spinach.) Once the leaves have wilted, drain and refresh in cold water, then tip into a colander and drain well. Using your hands, squeeze out as much excess water as possible and set the spinach aside until needed.
  4. After 45 minutes the veal should be tender and the stock will have a rich, warming taste. Discard the herbs, then add the crème fraîche and increase the heat a little – to enable the sauce to slowly reduce and thicken. This will take 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning – you’ll probably need a generous grinding of pepper and a good pinch of salt. Finally add the spinach, stir through and serve.


  • Slow-cooked dishes work better if the pieces of meat are generous in size. They tend to shrink during cooking and, if you’re not careful, you can end up with something resembling a school dinner. Food to me must always be identifiable.
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