As I have said before, Maggie and I cook with veal more frequently than the average household. Our collection of favourite recipes currently includes nine veal recipes but there would be another half-dozen dishes we have prepared and quite enjoyed.
Of all these dishes, the one that was the first we cooked together, a little over 10 years ago, remains a firm favourite and has not been altered since 2006. As the list of ingredients implies, it is a relatively simple dish, but deceptively so. Something about the method transforms these ingredients into a delicious and satisfying meal, enhanced by accompanying the veal and its sauce with some clean, fresh vegetables.
4-6 veal loin chops
1 large leek
150ml chicken stock
1 tbsp brandy
2 tsp green peppercorns
- Place the cream, stock, brandy, peppercorns and a generous pinch of salt in a saucepan and simmer vigorously until the mixture has reduced by about one-third.
- Meanwhile, season chops with salt and pepper. Remove most of the green portion of the leek, divide the white portion in half lengthways and cut each half into slices.
- Melt 15g of the butter in an ovenproof pan, add the chops and sauté for a few minutes on each side until just beginning to brown. Transfer to a warm plate.
- Sauté the sliced leek in the pan juices and the remaining butter until the leek has begun to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Place the chops on top of the leek.
- Heat oven to 160o
- Pour the reduced sauce over the chops and cover the pan with a lid or foil.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the chops are nearly tender, then bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes.
- The dish could be varied by cooking some mushrooms and bacon/pancetta with the leeks, or by adding some fresh, chopped spinach to the sauce before it is baked. However, Maggie prefers that we stick to the original recipe, so we do!