Suckling Veal Chop
This elegant dish begins with the largest, finest veal chops you can find. The chops are seared, then roasted; the sauce begins with the roasted pan juices. The veal slices are served on a bed of truffled Jerusalem artichokes with pea purée and pea garnish, with the savory sauce drizzled over the meat. The chef infuses coffee beans into the veal sauce to add another flavor note.
- Veal Chops
- Veal Chops - 2 very large, very thick, about 1-1/2 pounds each
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup
- Jerusalem artichokes - 1 lb
- Milk - 1 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Green Peas - 2 cups, shelled
- Chicken Stock - 1/2 cup
- Lard - 2 oz
- Black Truffles - 1-1/2 oz, shaved into thin slices
- Veal Sauce
- Water - 1 cup
- Veal Stock - 1 cup
- Arabica coffee beans - 1 oz, lightly crushed
- Lemon Zest - Zest of 1/2 lemon
- To Finish
- Creme Fraiche - 3/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
To prepare the chops:
For each chop, using a sharp knife, cut off the fatty portion of the tail of the chop, cutting around the bone and leaving the bone exposed. Scrape the bone to clean it. Cut off the tip of the protruding bone. Trim away thick fat at this end of the chop; leave the covering of fat around the back of the chop. At the inside edge of the thick end of the chop, feel for the other end of the bone and trim it away, also removing any fat and bits of meat in this area. The remaining chop will have a thick meaty chop with an exposed bone at one end. Tie several loops of cotton string all the way around each chop to keep them together during cooking.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Heat half of the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet into which a chop fits without a lot of extra room. Sear the chop on both sides until browned; sear the scraps and trimmings also. Repeat with the other chop in its own pan. Place the chops and trimmings in their pans into the oven and cook 15 minutes. Remove from oven and baste each with half of the butter, turning to baste on both sides. Return to the oven to finish cooking for 5 minutes, or to desired degree of doneness. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
To prepare the vegetables:
Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cut into 1/2-inch dice, then cut each diced piece in half (paysanne cut). Put the milk in a saucepan and season with salt and pepper; add the artichoke pieces and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain; set aside and keep warm.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and add the shelled peas. Cook just until softened; remove one third of the peas with a slotted spoon and reserve for garnish. Cook the remaining peas until very soft. Remove and drain. Mash the very soft peas, then press through a tamis or fine-meshed sieve. Put the pea purée and the chicken stock in a food processor or blender and purée. Set aside; keep warm.
Cut the lard in half and place in two small saute pans or skillets over medium-high heat. Cut half of the truffle slices into thin strips; chop the other half. Saute each in its own pan in the rendered lard for 1 to 2 minutes; remove from heat. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
To make the sauce:
Remove the chops from the pans and place the pans over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup of water to each pan and stir up the browned bits. Combine into one of the pans. Add the veal stock and cook until the sauce is reduced by a third. Add the coffee beans, reduce the heat to low, and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and stir in the zest. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, heat the crème fraîche over medium heat until slightly thickened, then add the drained artichokes to the hot crème fraîche. Add the diced truffle and toss. Cook 1 minute. Rewarm the pea purée. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat and cook until it begins to brown; toss the whole peas in the browned butter. Remove from heat.
Make a bed of truffled Jerusalem artichokes on each warmed serving plate. Using a small teaspoon, place 5 small spoonfuls of pea purée around each artichoke bed, drawing the spoonfuls out and to the right as you place them to create a spiral wheeled effect. Slice each veal chop into 8 slices and fan four over each bed of artichokes. Sprinkle the whole peas around and over the meat. Drizzle sauce around the plates and over the meat. Garnish with the truffle strips.