Having immersed myself in a foodie world, reading blogs and books and taking classes and talking to chefs, the one fundamental that I always knew to be true was that you always use the freshest best ingredients you can find for any dish. What I didn't realize until this blog project was how difficult it can be to find those freshest best ingredients. One of the things that makes Thomas Keller so successful is his network of suppliers. He knows who has the best of the best and has built relationships with them. That type of network is impossible for a housewife on a budget, although I CAN make friends with the various department managers at Whole Foods and other local stores, but sometimes the ingredients will still elude me. But this being a Bouchon recipe, and bistros always use what they have, I don't feel badly about the substitutions.
With the thirteen pounds of veal that arrived the other day, I scrambled to find a use for all of it. The bones and some meat went into a white veal stock. The rest of the meat we cleaned up removing all silverskin and cut it into chunks to make veal stew! I switched a few ingredients due to the season and availability, but I think I got the same effect. Let's start with the meat:
Put this in an ovenproof pot and pour in enough cool water to cover. Bring to boil and skim off all impurities.
Drain the meat in a colander and while it's still hot, rinse with cool water to wash off any impurities that stuck to the meat. Wash the pot and return the meat to it and add your 6c white veal stock and aromatics consisting of a leek split lengthwise then tied back together, 1 large or 2 small carrots cut into sections, 6 garlic cloves, 1/2 onion studded with 6 cloves and a bouquet garni:
While the meat is cooking cut up your vegetables. The recipe calls for baby carrots (with the greens cut to 1/4 in) and baby turnips, red and white pearl onions. Baby carrots (not those things in the bag that are big carrots cut to look like baby carrots) are no where to be seen around here. I cut up some carrots and red potatoes (turnips had seen better days) and got some frozen white pearl onions. The recipe also calls for 20 white button mushrooms, cleaned and stems cut to the body of the shroom.
Meanwhile back to the veal...
Back to the garnish...
Place a T of water and a T of butter in a skillet and heat until melted. Put the mushrooms in the skillet and toss them to coat all sides with the liquid mixture. Then flip them over so that all mushrooms are sitting stem side down, salt and pepper to taste and cook for 3-4 minutes, you can toss them if some are dry, but the tops should not brown.
Spoon the meat and sauce onto a plate or bowl, garnish with the vegetables and top with a sprig of chervil (chives again for me).
See you soon.
Edit: After walking away and re-reading I see how this reads in a very disjointed way. I will try to put ingredients up first. It's hard enough cooking bringing 3-4 things together at the end. It's even harder to write about it coherently. Leave me a comment if you have a suggestion. Thanks! : )