Cooking with attitude: The veal thing
Saturday 04 April 1998
British-bred calves are farmed for "rose" meat, a pinker-hued flesh, and not reared solely on a liquid diet like their continental brethren. So, there are no "emotional" arguments against the consumption of home-reared veal.
You trade the strong flavour of aged beef against the more tender flesh of the infant animal - as with its big brother, roughly the same rules apply about what method of cooking suits which cut. Rib-eye steaks and fillet being more tender than the rump and the shin meat is used for stews and pies, and so on. This following simple dish was inspired by a visit to a magnificent restaurant on Madison Avenue.
Ribeye veal steak & french fries with deep-fried herbs (serves 2)
2 ribeye veal steaks *(on-a-5"-long-bone) "French-trimmed"
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves peeled garlic, crushed
1 1/2lb (700g) Desiree potatoes, peeled, cut into thin French fries, (pre-blanched in 160C/400F oil)
Herbs: 4 sprigs fresh thyme/large handful fresh basil leaves/4 large sprigs fresh watercress/large leafed "continental" parsley/ 1 sprig fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 200C/450F/Gas 7. Rub meat surfaces with olive oil/crushed garlic and season. Heat a ribbed griddle pan smoking hot, seal steaks for 2 mins each side and place griddle in the hot oven (4-5mins). Flash- fry each bundle of fries for about 2 mins at 180C (450F) until crisp and golden, and flavour with herbs. This indulgent meal only needs mustard for the steaks - additional vegetables would be a travesty.
*Although UK beef-on-the-bone is banned, veal-on-the-bone (under 30 months) is legal.
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