Plump tender morsels of veal in a rich sauce of wine, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, carrots and onions, brightened with lemon zest and freshly chopped parsley. That pretty much describes Veal Stew with Wine, Zest and Thyme. Except for the deliciousness part.
The method to cook this full bodied veal stew recipe is similar to most stews: brown the meat; saute your vegetables until tender; add the liquids and seasonings; simmer until the meat and vegetables are tender and the broth thickens. This is the old fashioned way. The aromas, the flavors, the memories should not be underestimated.
If you’re an instant pot convert, though, feel free to check out our Instant Pot veal stew version. Also yum and you can save yourself a half hour or so.
I’ve been making this stew for years and it always comes out great. I’ve also served it a couple of times at dinner parties and got several recipe requests (a good sign). I don’t use exact measurements anymore, but instead, taste and adjust the flavors at the end. A pinch more salt, a bit more thyme, a pinch of sugar, etc.
I love how the lemon zest and capers give the stew a whole new flavor profile – a lift and zing – but you can always leave them and make a more traditional tasting stew.
Keep it simple and serve the veal stew with some warm crusty bread (for dipping). It’s also delicious over mashed potatoes or polenta with a nice fig salad. For dessert, try an easy no-bake Berry Crumble or step it up with Orange Polenta Cake.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Substitute rosemary for the thyme.
- Add mushrooms or baby potatoes when you add the diced tomatoes.
- Add a 1/2 cup heavy cream at the end for a creamier, less intense flavor.
- Just before serving, add 2 cups of roughly chopped baby spinach for color and extra nutrition.
Make Ahead Veal Stew
- The stew can be made several days ahead, stored in a sealed container and warmed up gently on the stove. The taste is just as good or better, making it a great potluck recipe.
Veal Stew with Wine, Zest and Thyme
- 1 1/2 lb veal stew meat, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 spanish onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup (rounded) diced canned tomatoes with little to no juice
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tbsp capers, rinsed (optional)
- zest, grated from 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste (and pinch of sugar if needed)
- SAUTE VEAL: Put flour, salt and pepper into a plastic bag. Add veal and shake to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in saucepan to medium high. Add veal and brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove veal to a plate.
- SAUTE VEGETABLES: Add another tablespoon of oil to pan. Add onions and carrots. Saute until softened and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic. Saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- COOK STEW: Add wine and boil until almost completely evaporated. Add diced canned tomatoes, thyme and capers (if using). Make sure the liquid reaches just to the top of the meat and vegetables. (add a bit more tomatoes, water or chicken broth if necessary). Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until veal is very tender.
- FINISH STEW AND SERVE: Stir in lemon zest and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, pepper and extra thyme as needed. Add a pinch of sugar if needed as well. Ladle into serving bowls and serve with crusty bread and a salad on the side. Or serve over noodles, rice, polenta or mashed potatoes.
Here’s a similar veal stew make in an instant pot:
And a couple of other hearty meals in a bowl:
This veal stew recipe, originally posted in Dec 2016, has been updated.