I generally avoid preparing or eating veal (for the expense; the problematic ethics attached to most of its sources; and the fact that, unless sympathetically prepared, it can end up tasting pretty bland). It’s probably been years since I’ve had it in my kitchen, but with the memory of one particular recipe I’d not been able to dispose of, I was tempted to give it a try when I came across an attractive package at Garden of Eden.
It enclosed two small veal loin chops described as “natural, untethered, no growth hormones or artificial ingredients”, and identified as the product of a family firm in southern Wisconsin, Strauss Brothers. The price per pound was modest, especially considering the almost fabled luxury of the product. Moreover, the chops themselves were smallish, and that makes sense to us.
Free-range veal? I spent a lot of time on the dairy farms of our Wisconsin relatives when I was young, where I wondered where and why each cute newborn spotted calf disappeared before we could become very attached to them, so naturally I was intrigued, even if I knew the Strauss Brothers’ critters hadn’t really spent much time on those advertised ranges.
I didn’t go with the recipe I had in mind when I bought the chops, but rather one which absolutely could not be more simple and easy, and which would surely convince any skeptic of the potential robustness of veal.
- Taralli Pugliesi (Finocchio) from Puglia Sapori purchased at Garden of Eden
- drink: Ricard and water
- Veal Loin Chops with Balsamico, or two seasoned chops browned 3-4 minutes each side (once the pan and a bit of oil coating it has gotten very hot), over medium-high heat, the chops removed and allowed to rest five minutes, then each drizzled with a teaspoon of good Balsamic vinegar; accompanied by French Fingerlings (Solanum tuberosum) oven-roasted with rosemary; and small varicolored oven-roasted carrots, both vegetables from Norwich Meadows Farms in Norwich, New York, purchased at the Union Square Greenmarket
- cheese and pears: two Basques, Garroxta and Istarra, served with rosemary bread from Bobolink Dairy at the Union Square Greenmarket; Bosc Pears from Migliorelli Farm, also in the Greenmarket
- wine: Austrian, Blauer Zweigelt 2007 Weingut Anita und Hand Nitthaus, Burgenland, from Appellation Wines