Earthy portobello mushrooms add depth to this rich veal stew. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles or orzo.
To make a bouquet garni, tie together parsley sprigs, rosemary and bay leaves with kitchen twine, or place in a cheesecloth bag; set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add half of the veal and brown well on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with another 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and the remaining veal. Set aside.
Reduce the heat to low, add pancetta (or ham or bacon) and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown. Add carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add garlic and flour and stir for 30 seconds. Pour in wine, scraping the solids from the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes, broth (or water), the browned veal and the bouquet garni. Bring the stew to a simmer, cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake the stew, stirring occasionally, until the veal is tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, if using fresh pearl onions, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onions (unpeeled) and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. When they are cool enough to handle, trim the ends and peel off the papery skins. (If using frozen pearl onions, thaw under cool running water and pat dry.)
Heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pearl onions and saute until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl and return the pan to the heat. Add mushrooms and saute until they begin to exude some liquid, 4 to 6 minutes.
Stir the pearl onions and mushrooms into the stew during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Just before serving, remove the bouquet garni and stir in chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
4 1/2 vegetables, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat