RAGOUT OF VEAL WITH ARTICHOKES (for four)
4 large artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped shallots
1-1/2 pounds boneless veal, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
unbleached all purpose flour for dusting
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
½ cup large Italian or other imported green olives
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
zest of 1 lemon, slivered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Trim the stems off the artichokes, and rub with bottoms with the lemon half. Snap off all the leaves, and rub the edges with the lemon.
2. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a bolil. Add the artichokes and simmer until crisp tender, 20 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
3. Trim the artichokes and scoop out the fuzzy chokes. Cut the bottoms into ½ inch slices and set aside.
4. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole or Dutch oven and saute the shallots over low heat for 3 minutes.
5. Lightly dust the veal cubes with flour. Add then to the casserole and brown quickly over medium high heat. Then stir in the reserved artichoke cooking liquid, stock, olives, carrot and lemon zest. Cover and simmer until tender, 1 hour.
6. Blend the butter and 2 tablespoons flour together in a small bowl. Whisk small bits of this beurre manie into the ragout just until thickened. Stir in the rosemary, lemon juice and reserved artichoke slices. Simmer 10 minutes.
7. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
NOTE: If you prefer, you can cook the artichokes whole, reserve the leaves and serve them as a first course on small plates, arranged in circles around small ramekins of vinaigrette. To boil whole artichokes put them, stem side down, in a stainless steel or enamel coated pan in which they fit snugly so they won’t bob up in the water. Cover with cold water and add a slice of lemon and ¼ teaspoon salt for each artichoke. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes. The artichoke is done when the bottom is tender when pierced with a knife and the leaves pull off easily. Using tongs, remove artichokes and turn them upside down on a rack or in a colander to drain.
from Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, The New Basics Cookbook