Veal Chops and Pomerol
This recipe, albeit simple, hails from the year I spent in Carmel, California, at the invitation of a former wine buyer and his wife. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this story, my year in Carmel is what launched my career as a writer.
One could see the ocean from the house, and it was there—to the constant rhythmic sound of the sea that I learned about Bordeaux. Not just any Bordeaux, but bottles that had been lovingly and properly cellared for years—the couple waiting for just the right moment to open them.
Our meals were quite simple, as is the case with these veal chops, prepared with little adornment or fuss, so that one could focus on the wine. Evenings spent around that dinner table were about discussing the wines, appreciating each bottle’s merits and charms. At this particular meal we opened a 1986 Château La Fleur De Gay that proved to be an exquisite match with veal’s delicate flavor.
A word about veal. As with foie gras, veal is a food product that engenders controversy. And rightly so, animal cruelty is not something I’m keen to serve at the dinner table. I was pleased to find, in doing a bit of research prior to posting this article, that as of last year, eight US states have banned the use of veal crates. To check out what the American Veal Association has to say about veal calf housing and care click here. Now that I’m back in the Northwest, I have yet to find a local source for crate-free veal, and I’m quite happy to substitute a succulent bone-in, pasture-raised ribeye steak.
- 4 14-ounce Frenched veal chops, 1-1/2" thick. I like to use pasture raised crate-free veal
- 2 Tablespoons white truffle butter
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to Broil, place a rack at the center of the oven.
- Place the veal chops on a baking sheet. Slather them in a generous amount of melted white truffle butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- For a medium rare chop, cook it 8 minutes, then flip the chops and cook for an additional 7 ½ to eight minutes. If the chops get too charred, turn the broiler down (from Broil High to Broil Low, if your oven has the option) and continue cooking, until chops are browned on second side and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the veal reads 132°.
- Remove the chops and tent them with foil, allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving. I like to serve them simply, with haricot verts or fingerling potatoes.