Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Elegant Veal Birds

Only if it's pasture raised veal, right? I haven''t made this dish in years due to my veal boycott, but remember it as one of my favorites. A real luxury, and elegant enough for a special dinner. The big question now was, would I be able to replicate it using non-bread crumbs and no butter or cream? Would it taste just as good? It's different. There's no substitute for butter. But it's really good, and I'd be proud to serve it to guests (my personal litmus test.) It's very rich-tasting, so I'd recommend a simple green salad to go with it. Serves 4-6
(Sorry the picture is so white, I'm having fits with my camera flash today.)

1.5 lb veal scaloppine, pounded very thin with a mallet between 2 pieces of waxed paper
Kitchen twine

1/4 lb range fed seasoned, ground pork sausage, room temperature
1/2 c "bread  crumbs" (2 parts almond flour to 1 part golden flax seed meal)
pinch garlic powder
pinch onion powder
pinch dried thyme
1 large egg, beaten
1 TB finely chopped fresh parsley
1 TB finely chopped fresh tarragon (don't omit this!)

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 TB potato flour, separated
3/4 c homemade chicken stock
1/4 c dry white wine, un-oaked (not aged in oak barrels)
1 TB minced fresh chives
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB whole coconut milk

Preheat oven to 325*F

In a medium bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and mix thoroughly with a fork. Lay the scallopine pieces out on sheets of waxed paper or a cutting board. Put 1 level TB of filling in the center of each piece. Roll lengthwise, tucking in the sides as you go. When they're all rolled and filled, cut two 6" pieces of twine for each "bird" and tie them snugly, cutting off the extra string, like this:

Generously season each with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a large, oven-proof skillet with EVOO (about 4 TB) and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot and rippling, brown the birds on all sides, maybe 4 min per side, using tongs to gently turn them. Don't worry if a little filling slips out, the world won't end ~ you'll just have more flavor in your gravy. 

Remove the browned birds to a plate, lower the heat to medium-low and spoon out all but 2 TB of the oil in the pan. Add about 1/3 c of the chicken stock to deglaze the pan, using the edge of a metal spatula to scrape up all the bits. Add 1 TB of the potato flour and whisk to combine. Pour in the rest of the stock and wine, blending with the whisk. It will not be thick; that's good. Put the birds back in the pan, cover and bake for about 30-40 minutes till they are cooked through and tender. 

Note: I had small pieces of veal, so they only took 30 minutes. If yours are bigger, allow a little more time. You don't want the veal to be overcooked, but you do want the pork cooked through!

Remove the birds to a serving dish and put the skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Cut the twine off the birds while the skillet is heating up. Add the mustard, cream and chives, and 6-8 grinds of pepper, whisking to blend.  Taste and correct salt & pepper, but I seriously doubt you'll need more salt. Add in the second TB of potato flour and bring to a high simmer, whisking to thicken. Add a little more flour if you like a thicker sauce. Pour the gravy around the birds and serve.

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