Fricassee of Veal and Ham with Artichokes


Veal is one ingredient found in many Creole recipes. In fact, veal grillades are much more popular than the original pork version. The addition of ham is a gift from the Germans who settled the Crescent City, and the artichokes were decorative garden items from the Italian immigrants. This recipe is an excellent example of Creole cuisine.


  • 3 pounds boneless veal stew meat, cubed
  • 1 pound diced ham
  • 12 artichoke bottoms
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 1 ½ quarts beef stock (see recipe)
  • ½ pound sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsps fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced yellow bell pepper

In a large cast iron dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and, using a wire whisk, stir until dark brown roux is achieved (see recipe). Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add veal and diced ham, blend well into the roux mixture and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add beef stock, 1 cup at a time, until stew-like consistency is achieved. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and reduce to simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, basil and Marsala wine and cook an additional 30 minutes or until veal is tender. Additional stock may be necessary to retain a stew-like consistency. Season to taste using salt and pepper. It is best to cook this dish one day prior to serving and allow it to set overnight in the refrigerator in order for flavors to enhance. When ready to serve, return veal fricassee to a simmer. Rinse artichoke bottoms well under cold running water. In a saute pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add artichoke bottoms and saute until thoroughly warmed. Place 2 artichoke bottoms on the bottom of a 10-inch serving plate and top with a ladle of the fricassee. Garnish each dish with fresh parsley. I enjoy serving steamed artichokes with this dish. Not only are the leaves excellent for decorating the plate, but the fricassee becomes a wonderful dipping sauce.

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