Veal Stew with Caramelized Onions

You won’t believe how a few simple ingredients can produce the most tender, flavorful stew.  With today’s prices, you may think that veal is not in the budget, but stew veal is made with those tough but economical cuts that benefit from slow braising, easy on the pocketbook and perfect for Sunday afternoons!

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The basic stew is quite versatile and pairs well with so many things.  The onions cook down to make a delicious gravy.  You can serve it with risotto, pasta or polenta.  For a New England style dish, you could add potatoes and carrots.  So many possibilities!  And those caramelized onions- oh my!

I used a stainless-steel universal pan to cook this meal, excellent for both caramelizing the onions and browning the meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. veal stew meat
  • 1 large, sweet onion
  • gluten free Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Preparation:

Slice the onion into thin rings.  In a stainless-steel pan with cover, add 1 tbsp. each olive oil and butter.  Begin cooking the onions on low heat.

When the onions are soft and just beginning to brown, remove them from the pan and set aside.  They will finish caramelizing in the oven.

In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and butter and begin browning the meat on all sides.  Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Add the onions back to the pan along with 1/2 cup of white wine.

That’s it friends.  Cover the pan and place in a 300º oven for 2 hours.

Look at that!  No knife needed to cut this meat- it is melt-in-your-mouth tender.

This was an easy meal that turned out great.  I love comfort food during the winter months and this one is on repeat!   

Notes ♪♫ Be sure to use real white wine (that you would drink) in this recipe.  Do not use cooking wine, it’s full of salt and who knows what!  I do not drink white wine, but I always keep a 4-pack of single serve bottles in the pantry for cooking.  Opening one small bottle at a time for a recipe means there is less waste.  Once opened, the remainder can go in the refrigerator.  If you enjoy the white wine, then pour a glass for the cook (red 🍷for me, please)!  Cheers!

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Gluten Free Italian Veal Cutlets

For a special Sunday Dinner, make your family a nice platter of Italian Veal Cutlets.  This was one of my dad’s favorite meals, I especially remember how he loved to order a veal cutlet sandwich at one of the local restaurants.  So be sure to make enough for dinner and leftovers for sandwiches the next day!

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I am fortunate to live in an Italian neighborhood where we can find thin sliced veal cutlets at the market.  At today’s prices, it’s a splurge but if you are making a nice dinner for two you can get away with less than a pound.  Serve with gluten free pasta and extra marinara sauce.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Set up 3 breading trays (or use plates), one with rice flour, one with beaten egg and one with breadcrumbs.  Preheat the oven to 350º.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with several tablespoons of olive oil.  Keep the heat on medium low.  Working quickly, dredge each piece of veal in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture.  Shake off the excess egg and dredge in the breadcrumbs.  As you finish coating each piece add it to the skillet.  Cook 2 minutes per side until nicely browned, then transfer to a baking sheet.  Continue with the remaining slices, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.  The cutlets do not have to be cooked through at this point, they will finish in the oven.

Ladle marinara over each slice and top with grated cheese, as much as you like.

Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese.

That’s it.  Not complicated at all.  Serve with a nice plate of pasta and some good gluten free bread to soak up the sauce and you’ve got a fine meal on the table in under an hour (they’ll think you’ve been cooking all day though).

Notes ♪♫ Veal cutlets need to be sliced very thin.  If you can’t get them this way at the store you will need to place the meat between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4″ thickness with a meat mallet.  If veal is not in the budget, you will be happy to know you can also make this recipe with chicken.

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Gluten Free Veal Stew with Peas (Spezzatino con Piselli)

This Italian classic is comfort on a plate!  A rich tender veal stew, slowly braised with mushrooms and peas in a light wine sauce.  It pairs beautifully with rice or pasta.

While veal can be quite expensive, veal stew meat is an economical cut that when cooked slowly over low heat becomes melt in your mouth tender.  No wonder this “peasant food” dish is so popular.

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I used a 4-quart nonstick sauté pan for this one dish meal.  It was a gift (thank you Santa), but you can get one here!

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. veal stew meat
  • 1/4 cup superfine rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (not cooking wine)
  • 1-1/2 cups gluten free broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Preparation:

Season the meat and coat with flour.  You can use any gluten free flour, but for browning meat I like superfine white rice flour, (the finer grind assures your dish won’t taste gritty).  Save your expensive gluten free blends for baking.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan and begin cooking the shallots.  Add the meat, leaving space in between.  Brown the meat about 5 minutes per side.

Add 1/4 cup of wine to the pan.  When it has almost evaporated stir in 1-1/2 cups of broth and 2 tbsp. tomato paste.  Cover and simmer on low for 90 minutes.

During the last 20 minutes of cooking add the sliced mushrooms, cover and continue simmering.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking add the peas, and finish cooking uncovered to thicken.

How to serve

This stew is great served over rice, pasta or polenta.  Here’s mine served over white rice.

Notes ♪♫ Like many of my recipes, this classic Italian dish required only one ingredient change to make it gluten free.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to follow a gluten free diet and still enjoy healthy, delicious food.

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Veal Appetizer Meatballs

Tiny veal meatballs are the perfect party food, great for small plates or an appetizer before the main course.  Unlike their larger cousins, these tender little meatballs are just the right size to pop into your mouth!  You can make up a quick sauce for dipping, or use a good gluten free jar sauce (I won’t tell!).

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The Lazy Gastronome

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 1 can (28 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. each Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, marjoram, sugar

Meatballs:

Preparation:

First we’ll make an easy marinara sauce.  In a heavy covered skillet or Dutch Oven, cook the garlic and onion in a little olive oil.  When the onions are translucent, push them to the sides of the pan and add the tomato paste in the center.  Let it toast for a minute before stirring it into the onions.

Add the tomato sauce along with the Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, marjoram and sugar.  Stir well, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Next we’ll make the meatballs.  Combine the beaten egg and Italian seasoning.  In another bowl combine the bread crumbs and potato flakes.

Add the veal into the egg mixture and work it in with your hands.

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the veal and use your hands to thoroughly combine.

Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Divide the veal into 12 portions and form small meatballs.  Arrange them on the baking sheet, leaving space in between.

Broil on high for 4-5 minutes per side, turning once.

After broiling, let the meatballs rest for 15 minutes at room temperature to set.  You can also make them a day ahead and refrigerate.

Before serving, add the meatballs to the sauce for 10-15 minutes to warm through.

Enjoy them as an appetizer with extra sauce for dipping.  Or, for a small plate idea, serve 3 little meatballs over 3 gluten free ravioli.

Notes ♪♫  I hope you enjoyed this post!  For more meatball recipes check out my traditional, dinner sized Italian meatballs and my Thanksgiving inspired Turkey meatballs.

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Gluten Free Veal Piccata

After many long months of staying home during the Covid pandemic we finally went out to dinner.  Of course I chose a restaurant with gluten free options, in fact most of the menu could be made gluten free upon request.  I ordered the Veal Piccata, and it was SO good!  I enjoyed every single bite, so much in fact that I decided to recreate that meal at home.  Here is my version and I dare say it was just as good as the restaurant, hubby loved it too!

I am fortunate to live in an Italian neighborhood, where thin sliced veal cutlets are readily available at local markets.  This is a big time saver, since I did not have to pound the cutlets to the right thickness.  Look for veal cutlets that are 1/4″ thick, or you can place them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat mallet.  If veal is not available where you live or just not in your budget, you can make this recipe with chicken.

4 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. thin sliced veal cutlets
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil + more as needed
  • 1/2 cup gluten free chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1 lemon, divided use
  • 4 tsp. capers
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley

Preparation:

Divide the lemon in half, cut one half into slices for serving and reserve the other half for its juice.

Pat the cutlets dry.  Dredge them in rice flour, shaking off the excess.  Season with fresh ground pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Cook the cutlets 2 minutes per side in a single layer.  Cook in 2 batches if needed.

Set the cutlets aside on a serving platter while you make the sauce.  Add the stock, wine and lemon juice to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Simmer 1 minute, then add the capers, parsley and butter.

Stir to cook 1 minute longer then return the veal to the pan and heat through, turning once.

Plate the cutlets and spoon some of the pan juices over the top.

Serve with lemon slices.

Notes ♪♫ I copied my restaurant meal right down to the sides.  We had roasted potato wedges and garlic green beans.  I’m so glad I did!  This recipe is perfect for date night or when you want to treat yourself to something special.

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Gluten Free Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle

Pappardelle are large, wide ribbons of pasta originating in Tuscany. According to Wikipedia, the name Pappardelle derives from the verb “pappare”, to gobble up.  In this dish, pappardelle noodles are paired with delicate veal meatballs in a mushroom wine sauce with just a touch of sour cream.  What a meal, and gobble it up we did!

These days, common pasta shapes like penne and fusilli are widely available in a variety of gluten free grains.  Still, I have yet to find an affordable gluten free replacement for pappardelle.  Read on to see how I quickly recreated the wide noodles I was missing with this easy kitchen hack, here’s a hint!

 

4 Servings

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Ingredients:

For the Pappardelle:

  • 6 ready bake gluten free lasagna sheets

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For the Meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb. ground veal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. potato flakes

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For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup gluten free chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot starch

Preparation:

To make the pappardelle, I soaked the lasagna noodles in hot water to soften them up, just enough to cut through.  After about 10 minutes I used a pastry wheel to break each noodle into wide ribbons.  The edges were a little jagged but overall I was happy.

To make the meatballs, whisk the egg, garlic, onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the veal and mix well, using your hands.

Add the breadcrumbs and potato flakes, and work thoroughly into the meat mixture.

Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.  Form 12-14 small meatballs, 1-1/2″ in size.

Broil the meatballs 4 minutes on each side, turning once.  The meatballs will still be a little pink, that’s fine.  They will finish cooking in the sauce.

Set up a large pot of salted water to boil.

To make the sauce, cook the onions and garlic in a heavy skillet or braising pan with a little olive oil.  Add the mushrooms, and cook until they begin to release their liquid.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the wine and all but 1/4 cup of the chicken broth.

Add the spinach and stir it in to wilt.

Whisk the reserved 1/4 cup chicken broth, arrowroot starch and sour cream together until smooth and stir into the skillet.  Return the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and simmer a few minutes until heated through.

To finish the dish, cook the pasta noodles for about 3 minutes, just until al dente.  Drain the pasta and use tongs to drop the noodles into the skillet (so they don’t stick together).  Garnish with Italian parsley and serve.

Notes: ♪♫  Someday soon I will make pappardelle noodles from scratch.  Until then, I can absolutely recommend the  Barilla ready bake gluten free lasagna noodles that I used in this recipe.  I loved them in this traditional meat Lasagna recipe and will use this hack again to cut noodles of any length and width that I prefer!

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