Tag Archives: veal

New Haul

18 Oct

Got a new haul today from Grapes of Mirth at North Market where I was also picking up veal shanks from Bluescreek Farm Meats.  Very happy with my finds and the service at Grapes of Mirth.  The selection is starting to get slim for me so I’m looking for new spots since I’ve had almost everything there at this point.  Also, after a quick stop at home for fall break I ran up to the Beer Engine and grabbed some Viking’s Blod!!!  Gahhh, can’t wait to crack all these babies but for now it’s nose to the grindstone for school work and beer dinner fundraiser preparations.

yum yum

Pictured above from left to right:  Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw/Blue, New Holland Charkoota Rye, Fantome Pissenlit, Bell’s Java Stout and Bell’s Double Cream Stout.

The hilarious part about the Fantome is that this saison is brewed using diuretic dandelions found in the region: “The yellow flowers are removed and dried in the sun, then soaked in water for a few days. The thick, dark dandelion “tea” that results is the basis for the Pissenlit, which is made also from traditional barley malt and hops. It resembles a classic saison beer – golden spritzy brew, strong and very flavorful, with a good hop bite. You may have to strain to taste the dandelions, but you know they’re in there.

It should be noted that uncooked, the dandelion has a diuretic effect and is known in France as Pissenlit (literally, “wet the bed” – this also happens to be the British folk-name) for precisely this reason” (http://ratebeer.com/beer/fantome-pissenlit/10959/).

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Muscle Memory

23 Aug

Have you ever been cooking something and your muscles, whether arms/fingers/brain, do all the work?  Sometimes I find myself chasing memories of recipes.  One in particular is a veal dish my dad used to make, he called it veal mezzanotte because he had made it in graduate school at midnight.  Here’s what I remember from shopping at Nino Salvaggio’s and then cooking at home with Poppie, since he never wrote down the recipe.

Vitello Mezzanotte:

1 lb. maybe 1.5 lbs. of veal cubes

2 garlic cloves

1 white onion

10 mushroom tops sliced in various thicknesses (too thin they turn to mush)

Spices — enough dried herbs and spices to cover the top of the stew, layer after layer (oregano, tarragon, basil, 1/2 tsp. coriander)

Bottle of Beaujolais-Villages – Louis Jadot

Basically what happens:  you toss in the diced garlic and onion with the mushrooms and some olive oil in a large deep skillet ’til it cooks down and browns up.  Over top, add the veal cubes, once they start to turn a little opaque add half a bottle of the beaujolais.  Then start layering the herbs so they cover the surface of the meat and wine, one after the other.  The coriander is added last.  Cover and let simmer for 2 hours, uncover and let some of the water/wine cook off for about 20 minutes.  Poppie always served it with mashed redskin potatoes and green beans.  I think I would also serve it with an Abbey Dubbel like St. Bernardus Prior 8 — it has a serious alcohol aroma that can stand up to the amount of beaujolais in the stew while complementing the earthy notes of the herbs with its own dark fruit, ripe raisin aroma and flavor.  The flavors don’t overwhelm each other but serve to improve the body of the beer.  RIP Papa.

The Beauty of Marrow

2 Aug

This is a Milanese dish my mother has been preparing in the winter my whole life and is the most decadent, body warming, comfort food on the planet.  Mac ‘n’ cheese be gone, this stuff is life saving.  Bone marrow is one of those foods to which many people have an adverse reaction.  It is in fact incredibly rich and full of protein.  It’s a consistency some have trouble negotiating — more a gelatinous gravy that is beautiful spread across a piece of bread or scooped out with a spoon.  The meat surrounding the bone is the veal shank and we all know the cuter the animal the better tasting the dish.  This is no exception.  When properly cooked, osso buco falls off the bone without the aid of a knife.  This particular recipe is borrowed from Marcella Hazan, author of 6 cookbooks on Italian cooking.

Osso buco alla milanese: enough for 6

1 big can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

2/3 cup finely chopped carrot

2/3 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 strips lemon peel

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 shanks of veal (you can find these precut in most grocery stores, get one cut for each person)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spread on a plate or on waxed paper

1 cup dry white wine

1.5 cups homemade meat broth or canned beef broth

1.5 cups canned italian tomatoes coarsely chopped w/their juice

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 leaves fresh basil (optional)

2 bay leaves

2 or 3 sprigs parsley

Freshly ground pepper

Salt to taste

The Business:

Heat in skillet olive oil and garlic over medium heat.

The veal shanks should be washed and patted dry, then lightly roll them in flour.  Place in skillet to brown on all sides.  Set aside when finished.

In large stock pot heat over medium olive oil, butter and garlic.  Throw in onions, carrot, celery to cook down — this is known in italian as a soffritto.  Next the veal shanks, tomatoes and their juice, beef broth, lemon peel.  Add the rest of the spices and let simmer covered for two hours.  Stir every 10 minutes or so.  This is a dish best the day after, let cool on stove stop then cover with tin foil and place in fridge.  Next day heat up at low simmer then serve in pasta dish, fettunta is a great side.

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