Monday, September 30, 2013

Almost Veal Marsala

My freezer is filled to overflowing right now and is requiring that I thaw and use as much as possible immediately. I froze much produce this summer, but I still had a lot of proteins from the winter.  The time has come to do some serious freezer cooking to use the meats while I can still buy decent fresh vegetables for sides.  ( I figure there are only 2 weeks left for traditional summer veggies and we are eating and enjoying them while we can.)

While rummaging  I found 2 huge veal rib chops.  Usually I just grill them in a pan with a little salt and pepper, but last night I wanted  little something more.  I looked through several recipes and tweaked and combined ideas to match what I had on hand.  The following is a composite of all of them with a tad of "just because" thrown in.

                                                                 Veal Marsalaish

preheat oven to 375 degrees

The Veal

2 large veal rib chops
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put oil in a large skillet and heat to medium high.  Sear the veal chops on both sides.  Turn the skillet down to medium, add garlic .  Cook for 4 minutes then turn and cook 3 additional minutes.  Remove from heat and place in an oven proof baking pan (9x9)

The Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons 
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
6 green onions sliced crosswise
1 small white onion in julienne slices
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup Marsala or dry red wine
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil.  Add the mushroom slices and cook stirring constantly until they are very wilted.  Add the sliced green onions, the julienne strips of white onion and the garlic and cook until all the vegetables are soft but not browned.  Stir in the flour and stirring constantly cook for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the beef broth, stirring the whole time until the mixture starts to thicken.  Add the wine, salt and pepper and cook for another minute.  Pour over the chops in the pan and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes.  Place the chops on a plate and spoon the sauce over all.

This was an easy meal, but for me it required a little bit more thought than I give a main dish.  It was a 1 meal 3 pan item which is not something I do often.  I am a big fan of one pan meals or at least a one pan entree.  I think next time I will brown the veal, remove it to a plate then make the sauce in the same skillet.  When it thickens I will return the veal to the same pan, put a lid on it and then finish cooking it on the stovetop.

We loved the flavor, but agreed we would have liked it better using veal scallops rather than chops.  The chops were gigantic, in fact The Hub and I split one and still had a little left over.  I think a thinner pounded veal scallop would have held the flavor of the sauce a little better, and the purpose of all the cooking was for flavor.  So, as a chop dish I give it a MEH, but I will make it again with a thinner cut.  I think I will also have a few par-baked root vegetables and toss them on top of the sauce.  Some carrots, potatoes and large pieces of celery would taste fantastic with the sauce.

And another thing...what exactly is Marsala?  I think it might be similar to cooking sherry but I am not sure.  I just used whatever leftover dry red we had and it tasted very good.  My theory is you should always use a dry white or red wine when cooking everything except for tomato sauces and they scream for a heavy bodied red. For the record, if you are near a Trader Joe's pick up 10 or so bottles of their 2 Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw wine that is now actually 3 dollars)  They have both a red and white that are pretty dry and great for cooking.  They also have a couple of fruity reds and whites that work really well in sangria, but that is another post entirely.    Trader . Joe's . Envy

So here is to Marsala veal with no Marsala at all.  It  was very tasty and I do love a saucy veal!

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