Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prime Veal Chop with Roasted Chestnut Sauce, Twice Cooked Polenta and Roasted Mushrooms

This monster meal is a new twist on traditional Northern Italian fare. My friend Ty was in town and he loves to eat so we hit the grocery store and I got to work. I listed the items in the order in which you should cook them. This meal costs $80, feeds 2 and takes 3.5 hours total.

Twice Cooked Polenta

1 quart, half and half
4 cups, vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons of salt
6 cups, #2 ground corn meal
1 stick, unsalted butter
1/2 cup, fresh grated Parmesano-Reggiano

Cooking polenta is a time involved process. If you don't want to spend the time get instant polenta. Start the half and half and stock in a large pot over medium heat. Once the mixture begins to let off steam add the salt. Now begin SLOWLY adding the polenta while stirring the mixture vigorously. This ensures a smooth final product. It will take a few minutes to add all off the corn meal to the pot. Turn the heat down to simmer and let that cook for 3 hours. You must stir the mixture every 3 to 5 minutes over the course of cooking it. Add the cheese and butter at the end and mix well again, add salt & pepper to taste. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. You can serve it like this. To make twice baked polenta, spread the polenta into a half sheet pan of large baking dish. Place the polenta in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

Roasted Vegetables

1 package baby Portobello mushrooms, halved
1 Italian Eggplant, chopped same size as mushrooms
4 large shallots, cut into thirds
10 large cloves of garlic, peeled
12 Italian Chestnuts
5 stalks, fresh thyme

Start oven on 375. Wash and chop the mushrooms, eggplant and shallot. Lay out in a single layer in a sheet pan. Drizzle with EV olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Bake for 45 minutes or until very tender.

Prime Veal Chop

2 bone in Prime Milk Feed Veal chops, about 18oz each
Salt & Pepper

Turn large sautee pan on medium low heat. let it get hot for about 19 minutes. Salt and pepper the veal liberally. Place in the pan as shown. Let it cook for about 12 minutes on each side or until it gets golden and carmelized. Add a pat of butter to the pan and coat each chop. Place chops on a baking rack and place them in the 375 degree oven for 12 minutes. Take them out at let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve over the twice cooked polenta and roasted vegetables.

Italian Chestnut Sauce

1 tablespoon EV olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
1/2 vidallia onion, chopped
1/8 cup marsala wine (or white, red, madiera etc)
1/4 cup of vegetable stock
12 Italian chestnuts, roasted, halved and meat removed
2 tablespoons of butter

Take the chestnuts out of the oven after a half hour (they should be cooking with the veggies). Let them cool for a few minutes before you start cutting them open and scooping out the inside. It takes a little work. Reuse the same sautee pan that was used to cook the veal chops. As soon as you take the veal out of the pan and put it on to the baking rack, start this sauce. Add a little olive oil if necessary and turn the pan to medium low. Add the shallots and onions and let it cook for 15 minutes or until softened. Add the wine and stir while allowing the wine the cook off. Once the wine is reduced all the way, add stock and let that cook for 10 minutes until reduced. Add the chestnuts and stir together. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

I used a ring mold to cut out the polenta cake. The veggies were super soft and delicious. The veal chop was like sashimi when we cut into it. It was a perfect through and through medium rare. The slow and low cooking method really works well with thick cuts of meat. Finally the chestnut sauce added some extra earthy flavors to the mix and really rounded out the whole meal. Buon Apetito!