Veal and Prawn Marengo

Updated: Nov 4, 2018

Some extraordinary historical moments gave birth to this emblematic delicious dish.

The legend tells: on the evening of 25 Prairial Year VIII (June 14, 1800), following the painful victory of Marengo, the First Consul Bonaparte was very hungry. His cook, Dunan (Dunant, Dunand), sends his clerks to the surrounding farms. They come back with chicken, crayfish, eggs, vegetables, garlic, white wine, herbs, olive oil and more. From this, the chef concocts a new recipe. Bonaparte, delighted, asked him to serve him the same dish after each battle.

The original recipe is wit chicken and crayfish but many popular recipes today replace the chicken and crayfish for veal cuts and prawns.


Ingredients for 6 persons: 1.2 kg veal breast, 4 eggs, 1 small can of tomatoes, 16 sun dried tomatoes, 24 prawns, 8 anchovy fillets, 8 garlic cloves, 4 shallots, 24 baby carrots, a few sprigs of thyme, 2 bay leaves, 2 celery stalks, 3 tbsp chopped parsley, 6 tbsp olive oil, 40gr of butter, 30cl dry white wine, 5cl cognac, coarse sea salt, 1 tbsp of honey, wheat flour, salt and pepper.

Choose a side dish you like (pasta for me)

Cut the veal into pieces, salt & pepper and coat with flour. Sear in olive oil until golden brown. Deglaze the frying pan with white wine (10cl) and reserve.

Use a cooking pot with a lit, pour a few drops of olive oil on the bottom.

Cut and add the celery leaves to the pot with the garlic (4 cloves), bay leaves and the thyme.

Place the veal on top and add the juices from the pan (deglaze sauce)

Add salt & pepper and pour the can of tomatoes with the same can of water in the pot.

Add the shallots (cut in half) and a few extra drops of olive oil.

Put the lid on pot and let simmer on low heat for one hour.

Peel the prawns but keep the tail and reserve the prawn heads.

Take a sharp knife and cut half way through from the back, discard the black thread (tripe) if you wish.

Take a small pan, add two tablespoons of olive oil (medium heat) add the prawn heads and sear for a few minutes.

Deglaze with the rest of the white wine, let it simmer for a few more minutes.

Kill the heat and take a potato masher, press the prawn heads to get more of the flavors out.

With a strainer, filter the sauce in to a bowl and add to the veal in the cooking pot.

Discard the prawn heads.

Use a mortar or a food processor to turn the garlic (4 cloves) and the anchovy filet's in to a paste.

After one hour take the veal out of the pot and separate from the other ingredients, discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Use a food mill to puree the rest back in the pot with the sauce.

Cut the celery stalks in to the same size as the baby carrots and cook both in the sauce for about 15 minutes. Avoid over cooking, they are great with a little chewiness.

Stir the anchovy with garlic paste in to the sauce; add the veal, the sun-dried tomatoes,

1 tablespoon of honey and 5cl cognac, and Place the prawns on top of the stew.

Put the lid on top and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

In the meantime; cook the pasta and fry the eggs.

Serve a nice bottle of medium dry white wine with this delicacy and let the feast begin!


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© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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