Earlier this year, Maggie and I spent three days in Burgundy, dining and wining as if we were heirs to the French throne. Our next stop was Dijon, a city we expected to enjoy while staying two nights at the Ibis Dijon Gare. (As the name implies, this hotel is located close to Dijon’s main railway station, from whence we would be travelling to Salzburg via Zurich.)
Unfortunately, yet not very surprisingly, the excesses of the previous three days caught up with one of us – poor Maggie. She needed several daylight hours of sleep and, when she did feel up to venturing out, her appetite for fine food was zilch. For instance, our visit to Dijon’s wonderful food market was limited to window shopping rather than buying a few items to make up a DIY picnic hamper. So, on our second evening, I dined alone in the hotel’s bistro. My solitude was more than compensated for by a delicious and perfectly-grilled veal steak on the bone, as shown in the first photo.
Last night, we prepared our interpretation of my Dijon experience, using veal chops bought at Prahran Market. This cut of veal is tender and moist when cooked, without needing to be braised for an extended period.
Before I cooked the chops, I heated some leftover chicken stock in a saucepan, to which I added a few sprigs of thyme, a beef stock cube and a little water. After the stock had simmered for about 10 minutes, I removed it from the heat and discarded the thyme.
To cook the chops, I began by heating a dob of butter in a non-stick pan over low-to-medium heat, once the pan was hot. I browned each side for about 4 minutes. After turning the chops, I put the lid on the pan but slightly ajar – this helped cook the meat next to the bone.
I removed the chops and kept them just warm. While Maggie worked with the wooden spoon, I poured about 1/4 cup of dry white wine into the pan; this bubbled and reduced for a couple of minutes. Next, 1/3 cup of the stock – the balance is destined for a pepper sauce tonight. When the sauce had returned to the boil, I added 1 tsp of Dijon mustard. When Maggie had integrated the mustard into the sauce we stirred in about 30ml of cooking cream, let it thicken the sauce, then added the meat resting juices and finally the chops, to coat them in the sauce (see photo).
We served the chops with some gently-boiled silverbeet and a mash of carrot, butter, sour cream and nutmeg. (This mash is a perfect partner for veal dishes but, because there is no starch in a carrot, you must drain the boiled carrots thoroughly and let the steam evaporate for a minute or two before you mash them.)
Thank you Ibis Dijon Gare – we have a new dish for our veal repertoire and we have named it Veal chops Dijonnaise!