Tender, flavorful, I suppose a bit controversial to some people, veal is a tasty and rare treat that I get every now and then. It's difficult to find in stores, and can be ridiculously priced. In terms of cuts of meats, I also find it to be the one with the least amount of versatility. Typically, when I make it, it's in some form of Italian dish. Which is odd that I say that, because today, it's anything but Italian.
Today, I'm making a lemon thyme veal chop with mashed potatoes. To accompany this, I'm making a lemon sauce, which is actually the exact same sauce my mom taught me how to make for lemon chicken - another very delicious dish.
I'm of course starting a day in advance to give my meat and spices the time to honeymoon with each other in the fridge.
2 - Veal Chops
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablesspoon Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Zest from 1 Lemon
Juice from 1 Lemon
In a measuring cup, I add my olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, and let that sit for several minutes to hydrate and incorporate all the spices.
In a large bowl, zest the lemon, and then juice the lime over top of this.
Pour the oil and spice mixture into the bowl, and mix thoroughly to combine.
You can trim and unwanted excess fat off of your veal chops, and rinse them off with water, tapping them dry with a paper towel on both sides when done. As for me, I do none of this.
Whatever you choose to do above, put each chop into its own plastic bag, and pour half of the oil mixture into each one.
Seal the bags, making sure there is no air left inside of them, and gently massage the mixture into each piece of meat.
Place them in the fridge for one hour to overnight. As usual, mine are going in the fridge for a slumber party.
The next day comes, and it's time to get busy.
I'm starting first and foremost with my sauce, and I'm going to do so early in the morning. Why? You guessed it. To let everything get happy with each other.
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Medium - Large Onion
Measure out the chicken broth, lemon juice and brown sugar, and combine them all together. Give it a really good stir to dissolve the brown sugar.
Next, slice the onion thinly, creating loops, and add them to the sauce, giving it another stir to get them all incorporated.
I let this sit on the counter for an hour, and then remove the onions, putting them in a separate bowl - Don't discard them. I then let the onions and broth sit until I'm ready to get to them. This doesn't need to be refrigerated, unless you make it in the morning and don't plan on using it until the evening.
When you start cooking, you're going to need a tablespoon of corn starch, and two tablespoons of water to finish the sauce off, but more on that below.
Now, I'd like to think that everyone out there knows how to make mashed potatoes, so while I'll share my steps and recipe, I hope you're all rolling your eyes at me telling you all of this.
8 Medium Potatoes
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Sticks Butter
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
To get this started, you're going to need a large pot of hot water that you season with salt and pepper, and set to boil. You only want to fill the water half way to avoid spilling from rising when you add the potatoes.
Personally, I don't understand people who leave the skins on their potatoes when making mashed potatoes. That to me is a world that doesn't make sense. I also get confused by people who rinse them off prior to peeling them. All this does is spread dirt everywhere, and make them slippery. For my method, I peel them into a plastic bag for easily throwing away the skins when done.
Next up, I slice them horizontally down the center, and then into 1 inch pieces. The smaller the potato, the quicker it cooks.
With the peeling and slicing done, this is when I transfer them to a colander and give them a good rinsing.
Carefully transfer the potatoes to the boiling water, being mindful of splashing, and let them cook for about twenty to thirty minutes.
[Insert the picture I forgot to take "HERE" - imagine potatoes in a boiling pot of water]
While they're cooking, you're going to want to pull out a medium size frying pan, which you're going to put over medium - high heat with about a tablespoon of oil. I use olive oil, but any kind will work.
When the oil gets hot, but not sizzling, add the onions you sliced up earlier.
You want to let these get a little tender, but you're not looking to fry them, or make them mushy. This should take about five minutes. Give them a stir every now and then.
As they're cooking up, take a small bowl, and add a tablespoon of corn starch and two tablespoons of water. Give it a good stirring to incorporate it into a milky thin slurry.
Add you chicken broth / lemon sauce to the pan, leaving the slurry aside for later.
You're going to let this come to a boil and simmer on its own while you let your potatoes finish cooking, as well as cook the veal.
Which brings us to the meat.
How you cook them is up to you. They're easy to broil, pan sear, or as I'm doing, grill them. Whatever your preference, cook them to your desired internal temp.
I was going to take more photos of this, but as I was cooking, I was drawing the attention of gawking neighbors. Between them and getting back to the potatoes, this is sadly the only photos I took of the meat cooking. I also didn't take pictures of the asparagus I threw on the grill after flipping them.
Oh well...Back to the sauce and potatoes.
For your sauce, vigorously stir in your slurry, keeping the contents boiling. Just let the sauce keep doing its thing, boiling away.
Now turn your attention to those potatoes. When you can pierce them easily with a fork, they're done, so drain them in a colander. Let's then have a serious heart to heart chat.
Look, I know that potatoes are vegetables, but I'm sorry, mashed potatoes are not health. So let's just get past that, and reduce the heat to low and add two whole sticks of butter to the pot you cooked the potatoes in.
When it's melted, throw your potatoes in the pot and give them a good mashing.
Since we've established that mashed potatoes aren't healthy, we can transition easily into the next step, which is to add 1/4 a cup of heavy cream. I don't use milk when cooking. If I'm making something that call for it, I always use heavy cream instead. It has more flavor, lasts longer in the fridge, and in general makes everything taste better. Seriously. Try it in a box of Kraft mac and cheese next time instead of milk. You'll never go back.
Depending on your preference of creaminess, be them stiff or runny, you're going to want to potentially add more cream. That's up to you. For me, this consistency is perfect. Thick enough to rest on a spoons sideways, but still creamy in texture. Now just salt and pepper them to taste.
By now, your sauce has also thickened a bit, and evaporated a little. It will also thicken a bit more once you take it off the heat.
I transfer it to a measuring cup for easy serving, but you can leave it in the pan, put it in a bowl, etc.
At this point, my meat is also done, so I take it off the grill to let it rest a bit.
My unseen asparagus is also done, and while it's hot / sweating, I hit it with some fresh cracked sea salt and pepper.
To accompany all of this, I also popped a half a loaf of French bread into to oven. That will lap up that sauce nicely.
Well, you know the routine. Get you a plate, and get to digging in!
Get you some of that sauce on everything. You won't be sad. Use the leftover the next day on some noodles, rice or on another piece of meat. It has the perfect amount of sweet to sour, and pairs great with savory.
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