Veal Chop with Oven-dried Tomatoes and Wild Mushrooms & Braised Fennel
Drying tomatoes in the oven gives them the intense flavor of sun-dried tomatoes, but a softer texture. The combination of delicate veal with woodsy mushrooms, licorice-scented crunchy fennel, and tomatoes is superb. This is a dish prepared for Great Chefs by the late Patrick Clark when he was working at the Hay Adams Restaurant in Washington D.C., before his move to Tavern on the Green in New York. The tomatoes may be made up to 1 day in advance and kept loosely covered at room temperature. The mushrooms may be made up to 4 hours in advance and reheated over low heat before serving.
- Oven-dried Tomatoes
- Roma Tomatoes (plum) - 12 ripe
- Sugar - 2 teaspoons
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Thyme - 1 tablespoon, minced, fresh
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons, divided
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 1 cup, sliced, stemmed
- Water - 1/3 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/4 cup
- Chives - 2 tablespoons, minced, fresh
- Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons, fresh
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Braised Fennel
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Shallots - 1/4 cup, minced
- Rosemary Sprigs - 1 fresh
- Star Anise - 1
- Fennel Bulbs - 2, trimmed and cut into 1/16-inch julienne
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Veal Chops - Four, 12- to 13-ounce
- Water - 2 tablespoons
- Chervil - 4 fresh sprigs
To prepare the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 200 F. Cut out the stem end of each tomato, cut the tomato in half lengthwise, and carefully scrape out the seeds. Place the tomato halves, cut-side up, on a wire rack placed in a baking pan. Season the tomatoes with the sugar, salt, and thyme. Bake for 4 to 5 hours, until they look dry and shriveled but are still slightly moist. Let cool on the rack.
To prepare the mushrooms: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and water and saute the mushrooms for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Add 4 tablespoons butter and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the chives and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
To prepare the fennel: Melt the butter in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the rosemary, star anise, and fennel to the pan. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the rosemary is fragrant and the fennel begins to wilt. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook the mixture for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the fennel is cooked but still has a slightly crunchy texture, and almost all the moisture has evaporated. Discard the rosemary and star anise, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Keep warm.
To cook the veal: Melt the butter in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the veal for about 8 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 F (for medium). Remove the veal from the pan and keep warm. Add the water to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the veal juice over the chops.
To serve: Place one fourth of the fennel on the center of each plate and place a chop on top. Alternate tomatoes and mushrooms around the chops. Garnish each with a chervil sprig.