French Fridays with Dorie
Delicious meals such as this one featuring Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter always remind me that it was just this type of preparation which first lead me to my place in the kitchen. To my way of thinking there is simply no better meal type one can cook for ones self than a big piece of meat cooked with some sort of pan gravy. Pulling off a perfect piece of meat (or chop )is an art form. (Yes, I am lumping veal, lamb , filet mignon, and even pork chops into this particular art medium.)
Conversely, ruining one is most definitely the devil’s work. One needs to commit one’s self to doing all he or she can to avoid ruining a cut of cow that costs $16 per pound.
“Simple” dishes which make use of only a handful of ingredients separate the “good cooks” from the “skilled cooks” — which is why I pay particular attention when cooking a steak and continue to strive mastering what others may consider a “no brainer” dish. A good chop is anything but and while they may appear easy to prepare I don’t fall for that deception! I feel a cook who does not understand this should best save their money and buy hamburger.
A good meat-master has to have the experience to know how meat behaves under a fire or on top of one. Top or bottom cookers know which flavors are best with which meats and how to use them effectively when called for. Even more masterful cooks know when it is time to forgo them altogether and use only salt and pepper.
When presented with a thick, juicy cut of premium meat I get humbled and feel nothing but slavish desire to do it justice. At $12 per pound could you blame me? No amount of experience will prevent the disappointment that occurs when expectations get dashed when you realize you have brought home a too fat specimen.
This is what happened to me for this particular French Friday’s with Dorie assignment. One of my chops was so thick and fatty it could barely hold itself together while I salt and peppered it! After reading through the recipe I had my doubts that the chops I hooked up with would cook evenly at all and wished I had not brought them home. Still, I was determined not to waste them and so got to work.
Veal Chops with Rosemary Butter
I have finished off enough meaty chops in my day to have an inkling regarding their particular needs and preferences. I felt compelled to modify Ms. Greenspan’s instructions in order to accommodate the bigger and meatier chops this part of the country seems to favor. Fattier too. Had I cooked these chops to Ms. Greenspan’s written instructions they would have come out much too rare and undercooked and while many might prefer over-rare temperatures for regular steak (and I wouldn’t blame them) a rare veal chop does not have the same appeal. The pink color of veal is unappetizing and the delicate flavors we cherish from veal don’t fully bloom.
So I braised it much like you might a pork chop to get at the fat and cook the thick chop evenly.
Adapted from the recipe found here
This is what you will need:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon copped fresh thyme
- generous pinch of kosher salt
- generous pinch of white pepper
- 2 veal chops, each about 12 ounces - these 1.5 inches thick
- 3 tablespons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 large garlic clove - smashed
- 3 tablespoons white wine
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
This is how you make it:
- In a small bowl add the butter and beat with a fork until creamy and smooth. Add the restof the ingredients and mix well with the fork. Turn the butter out onto a piece of plastic wrap and fashion into a small 'log' no more then 1" thick. Wrap with plastic and put the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Put the two chops in a shallow dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil . Season with the minced rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper and rub the oil and seasonings in well onto both sides of the chops. You can cover and refrigerate the chops at this point but make sure that the chops come down to room temperature before cooking. At least one hour. Your chops will not cook evenly if you omit this step.
- Put a skillet large enough for the two chops (one that has a lid) over medium heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it warm add the garlic clove and cook until the clove just browns and then disgard it. Raise the heat to high and then add the chops to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until the undersides are golden brown. Flip and cook the other sides until they too are golden brown.
- Keeping the chops in the skillet, drain off any fat you can from the pan and return to the stove. Raise the heat on the pan and add the chicken broth. As it sizzles, scrape up any browned bits you can with a wooden spoon. When the broth begins to simmer cover the pan and let the chops braise until they are just tender and their internal temperature registers 145-150 on an instant read thermometer. (About 10 minutes.)
- Remove the chops to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. There should be just a bit of broth left in the pan. Raise heat, add the wine and cook until you have about 2 tablespoons of of skillet liquid.
- Plate your chops, drizzle the skillet liquid over them, and and put one tablespoon of rosemary buter on each. Reserve remaining butter for another use.
Dorie suggests that the internal temperature for veal should be 130 degrees but this seems much too rare for my tastes. 145 degrees hits the sweet spot for me and using this braise method preserves the juiciness and helps liquify the fat on a particularly fatty veal chop.
These Veal Chops with Rosemary Buttter was an assignment for French Friday’s with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan’s culinary tome “ Around My French Table” . We generally avoid including the recipes in our posts. However, wherever there has been a significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers or by hundreds of other bloggers, or it is, in fact, not much of a recipe at all, I will either include it here (adapted) or provide a direct link to it. Please feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding a French Friday with Dorie Recipe. You should buy the book though.
It will change your life as it has mine.