As the French Fridays group narrows down on the last recipes from the book, it’s interesting for me–someone who was involved for a short time near the beginning and then took a rather extensive break–to see which recipes haven’t been made yet. Some of the dishes–ahem, caviar in aspic–I can completely understand. This dish may have just been oversight, other than there being veal in it.
I really enjoyed reading Dorie’s brief history of the dish: Napoleon’s chef made it for him after a battle at Marengo between the French and the Austrians. Then, it was made from what was at hand–veal (yes, I know…who really has this to hand?), tomatoes, and white wine–and Dorie’s version isn’t far off from what many have to hand: veal, tomatoes, white wine, potatoes, mushrooms, and onions.
I rarely eat veal and I simply couldn’t find any veal stew meat, so I chose pork shoulder/blade roast. I thought of lamb and beef and I’ve seen chicken marengo recipes on the internet. But, I was already having beef in another meal this week and the lamb was super expensive, so pork it was!
The dish was wonderful with a lovely complexity of flavor within its simplicity. This is a recipe I’ll return to often with many types of proteins! I think the only caution would be to vary the braising times. Veal only requires about 30 minutes. My pork wasn’t quite as tender as I’d have liked, so next time I’ll leave it longer. Oh, and I’ll either double the sauce to make more leftovers or reduce the meat amount. 2 lbs for 4 people is about twice the amount we normally eat and there wasn’t enough sauce for leftovers!
Oh, and those glazed onions and the mushrooms sautéed in butter… Oh my, did those add just the right umami to each bite. A true winner!