Monday, February 20, 2012

Veal Chops and Purple Potatoes


If you are ever looking for a rich, impressive meal that's a little off the normal menu, you should pick up some veal chops and purple potatoes. Veal is a very tender beef, that, while a controversial subject in the animal rights circles, is always delicious. The most common cuts of veal are thin cutlets used in scallopine or parmesan, but the cut I enjoy most is a thick veal chop. A veal chop lies somewhere between a pork chop and a steak on the flavor and tenderness scale. It's also a very lean meat, so it's healthier than having a heavy steak. When cooked well, the veal has a softer taste than a rich steak, and is much more tender and juicy than most pork chops. For this dish, I paired 2 thick cut veal chops with a red wine braised mushroom and celery sauce and some mashed purple potatoes. Purple potatoes are a beautiful heirloom variety of potato that is much healthier than normal white fleshed potatoes because of their high level of antioxidants. They are also visually striking and make for a very unexpected side to a dish.




While this meal looks very impressive, the work to prepare it was not very labor intensive. To start, I sliced up the celery, mushrooms, and onions and sauteed them until starting to brown. I then added garlic and thyme and poured some dry red wine over them. I let this braise for about 30 minutes, and about 10 minutes before serving, I added some cream to thicken the sauce. For the potatoes, I sliced them up and boiled them for 15 minutes. I then drained and added butter, yogurt, cream, and mustard and mashed them up. For the veal, I rubbed the chops with salt and pepper, seared them in a cast iron and finished them in the oven. All in, the meal took under an hour to cook and was a very delicious and mostly healthy meal. The veal was perfectly tender and moist, and the flavor of the celery and mushroom puree was a perfect accompaniment to the meat, not overpowering, but distinct enough to enhance the flavors of the dish. The potatoes went perfectly as well, with the mustard and yogurt providing a nice punch to go along with the smooth rich flavors of the rest of the dish. If you're looking for an unexpected dish that will impress, this one is a must-try.



Ingredients:
(Serves 2)
2 half pound veal chops
1 celery stalk sliced on a bias
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon light cream
3/4 lb purple potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 tablespoon light cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
Salt and pepper
Olive oil


To Cook:
Mashed Purple Potatoes

  1. Bring a  large pot of salted water to boil and add potatoes
  2. Boil for 15 minutes, drain, and mash the potatoes
  3. Add yogurt, cream, mustard, butter, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly
 Braised Celery
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sautee pan and add celery, onion, mushrooms and garlic
  2. Sautee until starting to brown
  3. Add wine, thyme, salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Mix in cream, stir, and serve on top of veal
Veal Chops
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Rub the chops with salt and pepper
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron pan on medium high
  4. Place the chops in the hot pan and sear until brown on one side for 4-5 minutes
  5. Flip chops and place the pan in the oven, cooking for 15-18 minutes (depending on chop thickness)
  6. Remove the chops from the oven and place on a plate to rest for 10 minutes before eating

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