VEAL MARENGO (for four to six)
The original version of this classic French dish was created on June 14, 1800, after a celebrated battle between Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops and Austrian forces near the village of Marengo in northern Italy. Legend has it that when Napoleon ordered a dinner to celebrate driving the Austrians out of Italy, he was told that there was little food to be found. He replied that a good chef can make something out of nothing. A simple stew of veal, tomatoes, wine and mushrooms resulted.
3 pounds boneless veal stew meat, cut into 2 inch pieces
¼ cup all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1-1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes with juice
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 wide piece orange zest, removed with a peeler
1 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
¾ pound egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
1.Preheat the oven to 325*. Pat the veal pieces dry with paper towels. Put the flour into a large, zippered plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Shake to mix well. Place the veal into the bag and shake until evenly coated.
2. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half the veal to the pot, shaking to remove excess flour, and cook until evenly browned in all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the pot and repeat with the remaining veal.
3. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the pot and heat over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 10 seconds. Add the wine and deglaze the pot, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes with their juice, basil, thyme, orange zest and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Return the veal to the pot and stir to combine.
4. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and braise until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork, about 1-1/2 hours.
5. Toward the end of braising, cook the mushrooms. In a frying pan over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Remove the pot from the oven and discard the zest. Place over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by one fourth and slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the veal over the noodles, garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley and serve at once.