If you’re one of those people who can’t stand the thought of a calf being mercilessly slaughtered to give your meat the tenderness it deserves, I pity you. I have no such reservations: kids (baby goats), chicks (baby chickens), ducklings, piglets are all fair game. If you can get past the connotations of consuming young blood, veal awaits.
While high quality meat will always please, patience and preplanning go a long way in ensuring something as delicate and flavorsome as veal reaches its potential to amaze you- the meat needs to be marinated well ahead of time.
A lot of recipes call for rosemary, butter, thyme and shallots, but that just doesn’t cut it for me, often leaving the meat bland and dry. I prefer a soy, garlic, lemon juice, mustard and honey (optional) marinade, which results in elegant, deep flavors that seep well into the tender meat. While any combination of the ingredients mentioned above will most likely result in a good meal, the quantities I used for each veal chop (1 chop) are as follow:
- Dark soy sauce, 2.5-3 tablespoons
- Garlic, 1 teaspoon, chopped
- Lemon juice, half a teaspoon
- Dijon mustard, 1/2 tablespoon
- Dark honey, just a dab
Whisk the base ingredients together and use your fingers to rub the resulting marinade directly on both sides of the chop. Place each chop in a separate plastic bag (preferably a Ziploc bag) and pour in the remainder of the marinade. Seal and refridgerate for at least five hours for optimum results (overnight marination is highly recommended).
Instead of placing the chop onto an oiled skillet, I prefer to brush the oil onto the meat directly as it is cooking. I do this because I use sesame oil, and feel that a direct application really opens up the flavors in the marinade.
It’s important that the burners are set to high before you cook the veal, as you’ll want the skillet to clearly mark the meat for a smoky flavor. Also, aesthetics- a fancy piece of meat should look fancy. Once the skillet is hot enough, cook for 4-6.5 minutes on each side ( 4 for medium-rare), constantly brushing it with sesame oil and the excess marinade from the plastic bag.
The sodium from the soy sauce should be enough salt for the average palette, but do feel free to season the finished product with freshly ground black pepper and fresh parsley. Take a deep breath, Instagram that shit, and eat up.