I think ALL barnyard animals are cute.
If we used cuteness as a standard to determine what we should eat, well, our menus would look a lot different. That would be like ugly shaming the animal and vegetable kingdom, sending the message “if you aren’t pleasing to the eye, you will most certainly be EATEN!” And that wouldn’t be right. The fact is, nobody wants to be there when farm animals are being slaughtered, be the end product beef, lamb, chicken, or even pork. Like they said in the movie, “At least pigs have PERSONALITY.”
This discussion has already gone on too long, with little or no resolution. So, we are going to skip forward and just do the thing. The price of veal has risen drastically over the many years, for a number of reasons. Originally, it wasn’t really considered a hoity toity dish, but it became so over time. I found some Milk Fed Veal Breast from a local specialty butcher, my new friends at NickyUSA…at just over $3 a lb, it’s a bargain.
Veal breast is the anatomical equivalent of pork spareribs, from a considerably larger animal. While pork spareribs usually weigh less than 6lbs., this weighed over 15lbs. Even so, like pork spareribs, it can be cooked in such a way that a lot of the cartilage is crunchy, but edible. There are also bones of great value for making stocks, both dark and light. We’ll talk about that, in a subsequent post. First, the break down.
- Cutting it in half takes a little muscle, and we try to land in between solid bone. This is a profile of the hind half, looks a lot like a spare rib at this point.
- I keep cutting it into smaller and smaller blocks, as the cut allows.
- This cut is irregular, so you will see some obviously meaty pieces, and some not so meaty.
- This will be important later!
- I keep cutting it down into smaller and smaller units…
- Until I ended up with about 12 blocks, more or less.
- Which get mixed and matched until I have more or less equal packages, for the purposes of portion.
- A butcher block full!
140F/60Cx18 and pinch.
There is hardly any myoglobin in veal, so shooting for medium rare isn’t really going to provide you with any noticeable characteristic. I usually treat it more like pork, which makes sense even in Vienna, where the classic Wienerschnitzel is frequently made with pork instead of veal nowadays. The flavor of the veal is milder than pork, which is pretty mild these days too. The texture is very similar.
Let’s eat some!
- Sous vide processed veal breast, approx. 2lb/1K. (140F/60Cx18 and pinch).
- Egg white, 1 ea.
- Flour, as needed.
- Chicken breading mix, 2 cups.
- S+P as needed.
- Oil for frying, approx. 1 cup/225ml.
- Orange, peeled, 1 ea.
- Savory cranberry paste, enough to coat orange.
- Generic coleslaw, 3oz/100g.
- Balsamic syrup or Kecap Manis, a few drops.
- After processing, it really does look pretty nondescript.
- This is the kind of thing you definitely want to save the purge from.
- We’re making some demi for an upcoming event, so it goes into that stock pot, to be clarified later.
- I cut it up into 6 pieces, in that rustic sort of “blocky” shape.
- No need to lift a pinky finger, this is country style, farmer style.
- One from the vault, put the cubes on a strong paper plate.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with flour, I like to use one of those metal shakers.
- Coat with the egg white.
- Dry your hands well.
- Take ANOTHER strong paper plate, and sprinkle some of the chicken fried breading on the bottom. Don’t scrimp, you can save the leftover.
- Lay the veal on the breading mix, making sure there’s space between them.
- Sprinkle the top with more of the breading mix, again, heavily.
- Tap the top with dry hands, and LET IT SIT FOR AT LEAST HALF AN HOUR.
- Lol, this gives the crust time to cling.
- You’ll be glad you did.
- You don’t HAVE to use a Debuyer skillet, but I sure like them.
- Very thick.
- Cast iron is really the model for this, or stainless steel.
- It’s best to use a thick bottomed pan, no matter which.
- I had some pork fat from some pork belly I had rendered, that will serve nicely.
- Heat it to about 300F/150C, deep enough to lick the sides of the blocks.
- Fry on all sides, move them around as needed to get uniform color. I stand them on the edges of the pan, which is usually cooler, the middle is hotter, and so forth.
- It’s like love, or play, depending on your outlook. It’s not drudgery.
- They should sizzle in the the pan, but not pop.
- I haven’t posted the recipe for coleslaw, but I make a basic sweet and tart variety.
- Pretend that you’re serving fried chicken.
- Slice some orange, and coat it with my savory cranberry paste.
- Shingle out the oranges so that the last one, the top one, is right in front of you.
- Lay a couple of pieces of the veal on top, drizzle a little balsamic/blueberry.
- Very simple, and, yet, very sinful.
- A word about this crust. As the recipe indicates, I add baking powder/soda and butter or shortening to the flour, which causes that “lattice” effect in the crust. As the food heats, the baking powder/soda ejects CO2, and the shortening is forced out into the surrounding oil. The end result is crispy and flaky, without being greasy.