A traditional French dish, this fennel and veal stew marries a plethora of satisfying flavors. Sweet fennel paired with tender veal makes for a rich stew – comforting and hearty, but still soothing and delicious.
Fall is upon us, and if you’re anything like us, fall directly translates to soup and stew season. When temperatures drop, nothing is more comforting than a bowl of hot meat and vegetables swimming in tasty broth.
Soup and stew options are limitless, but one you don’t want to skip this season is veal and fennel stew.
Background – Origin of Fennel Veal Stew
Fennel and Veal Stew is from France’s geographical region that stands in Mediterranean coast. The Provence region with some influence from Italia, making various dishes very similar to one another.
Dishes from Provence generally include lots of vegetables, especially during the summer season, with little bit meat.
Provence has some of popular dishes from French Cuisine such as Bouillabaisse, Aioli, Pissaladiere and Ratatouille.
There are different takes on fennel and veal stew, as there are with any soup or stew. Some recipes include various vegetables while others leave them out.
Some versions swap beer for chicken stock and others calls for cream. It’s a versatile dish.
As with any dish, which recipe you choose to follow depends on taste, but no matter what, you’re going to end up with a mouthwatering finish when you cook this veal stew.
What Animal Is Veal
Veal is the meat you would get from a calf or young beef animal. A calf is raised until they are about 16 to 18 weeks of age. They are typically male Holstein-Friesians who cannot produce milk.
Is Veal A Lamb
No. Veal is not a lamb. Often at the supermarket they are grouped together in individual packages. They are often sold as chunks or as ground meat. However, this delicacy is also as pricy as lamb chops.
The two main ingredients in this dish are, of course, veal and fennel.
Veal is a tender, light meat that pairs well with many flavors and can be prepared several ways. It’s a versatile delicacy, similar to our Haitian Lambi (Chonch).
For this dish, be sure to wash the meat first then pat the veal dry before cooking it, and brown it before letting the entire stew simmer. This will give the veal a tantalizing texture and a rich, deep flavor.
In our Poulet en sauce (recipe link below) recipe, we share the exact method we use to clean clean.
Fennel is versatile, as well, and its flavor sweetens as it’s cooked. It tastes of anise without being overpowering, and its texture is similar to celery. After simmering, the fennel will have sweetened and softened, sublimely contrasting the veal.
The other ingredients included in fennel and veal stew vary from recipe to recipe, but we’re partial to carrots, garlic, and onions. Caramelized onions and cooked carrots perfectly balance the veal and fennel in both taste and texture. Don’t forget the tomato paste, either.
The spices that are added in this recipe is very subtle. However, additional flavors used in fennel and veal stew may vary like the vegetables.
Although not necessary, but as a substitute, we suggest using a citric acid to brighten the dish and bring out the best in both the fennel and the veal. We prefer orange, but lemon is tasty, too.
Add some tarragon, garlic, basil, and an alcohol – either an anise liqueur, dry white wine, or dry vermouth. Once you taste this, you won’t want regular beef stew again.
Step-By-Step Guide To Make Veal Stew
The full recipe with the exact measurements is listed below in the recipe card. For now, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to make this recipe perfectly every single time.
Be sure to check our YouTube channels here and here to see how we put these guides into motion.
To begin, wash the meat then pat dry.
Coat the meat with flour and remove all excess flour. Set aside in a large platter to avoid sticking.
In a casserole, melt butter and add the oil. When heated, add floured meat.
Cook it until brown on both sides, then remove the meat from the casserole.
Next, add other half of stick of butter followed by all the vegetables. Sauté vegetables for about 8 minutes on high heat, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.
Add the meat and deglaze with Red Wine, then add warmish beef stock, followed by the tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Reduce to heat to medium.
Season with salt and pepper and add water.
Add Dried Bay Leaf and Thyme.
Cook it until all the vegetables softened, stir a couple times while cooking to avoid sticking at the bottom.
Small cubes of butter can be added before serving to make the sauce thicker. Serve and enjoy.
Ingredient Variations & Substitution
If consumer’s diet does not contain alcohol, Grape or Apple Vinegar can be used.
If you are Vegan or Vegetarian, consider omitting the meat. Typically, Vegetarian and/or Vegan versions are not available for this dish.
We recommend using soft parts of Veal, especially legs can be used for this meal.
We do not recommend using parts that has a lot of fat because the meal has butter in it, it will be very heavy, and it will have fatty texture.
Beef Stew With Wine
This classic French veal stew or beef stew is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Chunks of veal pieces that are seared in olive oil and butter, then gently braised with vegetables, garlic, and onions in a red wine-based broth.
While cooking and left alone to simmer, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enclosed in a rich, deeply flavored sauce.
Which Wine To Use
Deciding on which wine to use is personal choice. We prefer to use red wine as it elevates the stew and providing a well-balanced flavor with the meat.
For the wine, use any dry red (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink.
For this recipe we went with a mild sweet wine from La Peroniere, Carignan, Vieilles Vignes.
The Vegetable Mix has different aromatic vegetables such as Fennel, Carrots, Onions, Garlic and Shallot. These will give amazing aroma to the meat. When Bay Leaf and Fresh Thyme add, the dish will be completed.
Not to beat a dead horse, but this dish is versatile, including how it’s served. You can cook it ahead of time or serve it fresh. If you do serve it reheated, be sure to let it simmer a bit beforehand.
Once you’re ready to eat, pour your stew over mashed potatoes, rice – like this Haitian white rice, bread – like this air fryer milk buns, or a short pasta like egg noodles or farfalle. In short – find your favorite starch and smother it in this veal stew.
If you’re looking to keep it light, veal and fennel stew is tasty enough to be served plain, but we like it starchy.
You can also pair it with these yellow yams or a healthier starch.
Once you’ve finished your first helping (or second or third or fourth), you’ll likely have some leftovers.
Store your leftover fennel veal stew in an airtight container for up to four days to maintain freshness, and reheat it to savor until it’s gone. You’ll enjoy every last bite of your veal and fennel stew.
More Stew Recipes You’ll Love
If you love this veal stew with mixed vegetables recipe, consider trying one of the following stew recipes listed below next.
Poulet En Sauce (Haitian Chicken Stew)
Haitian Dishes To Pair This Stew With
If you love this veal stew with fennel and mixed vegetables, consider pairing it with one of the following Haitian dishes listed below.
We’d especially would love to know if you tried this recipe, tag us on Instagram or Facebook so we can see your beautiful dish.
Also, we would appreciate if could give it a star rating below!
Classic French Veal Stew With Fennel
- 5 Lbs. Veal Chunks
- 1 Stick Butter; Divided
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Red Wine See Notes
- 4 Cups Beef Stock; Reduced Sodium
- 1 Fennel Bulb; Sliced
- 3 Garlic Cloves; Chopped
- 1 Chopped Shallot; Sliced
- 3 Dried Bay Leaf
- 8 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
- 3 Large Carrot; Peeled & Sliced
- 3 Red Potatoes; Quartered
- 8 Oz. Sliced Mushrooms
- 1 Medium Onion; Roughly Chopped
- 8 Oz. Tomato Paste
- 4 Cups Water
- 3 Tsp. Salt To Taste
- 1 ½ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper Or To Taste
- To begin, wash the meat then pat dry.Coat the meat with flour and remove all excess flour. Set aside in a large platter to avoid sticking.In a casserole, melt butter and add the oil. When heated, add floured meat.Cook it until brown on both sides, then remove the meat from the casserole.
- Next, add other half of stick of butter followed by all the vegetables. Sauté vegetables for about 8 minutes on high heat, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.Add the meat and deglaze with Red Wine, then add warmish beef stock, followed by the tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Reduce to heat to medium.Season with salt and pepper and add water.Add Dried Bay Leaf and Thyme.
- Cook it until all the vegetables softened, stir a couple times while cooking to avoid sticking at the bottom.Small cubes of butter can be added before serving to make the sauce thicker. Serve and enjoy.
- We do not recommend using parts that has a lot of fat because the meal has butter in it, it will be very heavy, and it will have fatty texture.
- If you can, we recommend using soft parts of Veal, especially legs can be used for this meal.
- For the wine, use any dry red (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink.
- For this recipe we went with a mild sweet wine from La Peroniere, Carignan, Vieilles Vignes.
Hi. I made this stew last night. It was fantastic! I skipped the step about washing and drying the stew meat, and probably got a thicker gravy because of that. Lots of bang for the buck, so much flavor. Many thanks. Patti
Hi Patti, thank you so much for trying the recipe. I am so glad it turned out well for you. Cheers to you and enjoy your weekend!!!
I recently made a veal stew sweet potatoes but never thought about fennel. I think I might try it. Thank you guys!!
Thank you so much, Sharron!
This looks perfect for a cozy winter night…bookmarked to try this weekend!
Thank you very much!
You can’t beat stew on a winters day
Nope, you definitely cannot.
This looks so flavorful and like pure comfort food!
Thank you, Jess
This look so wonderful and comforting! I can’t wait to try this and dive right in.
Don’t think I’ve ever had veal but this sounds yummy!