Veal served with gnocchi

V is for… Veal with fried gnocchi

Firstly apologies for such a long gap between the previous post and this one, I was very busy in December with quite a few Christmas parties and then the festive period itself; however I had not forgotten the blog, so here is the next instalment.

I know veal can be a somewhat contentious issue, but this is not the forum to discuss ethics. I enjoy all food and believe it should all be cooked well. This is a simple recipe, which allows you to appreciate the meat itself. I’ve served mine with fried gnocchi, but if you want to be healthier, it could equally be served with boiled new potatoes.

The recipe serves 2 greedy people comfortably.

Veal in marinade

 

Veal in griddle

Preparation time: 2 – 6 hours (for the meat to marinate)

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 300g veal escalopes;
  • 500g gnocchi
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • knob of butter
  • 2 handfuls of green beans
  • 100g tender stem broccoli

Recipe:

  1. In a shallow dish (or food-proof, sealable plastic bag) place the veal and pour in 3 tbsp of olive oil, the lemon juice, rosemary and chill flakes. Give a stir around until the meat is completely covered then cover (or seal in a bag) and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, you’ll need a griddle, a large frying pan and a small saucepan on the go at once. In the large frying pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and a knob of butter over a medium heat. As soon as the butter is foaming, add the gnocchi, string occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile put the griddle pan over a high heat. No oil is needed in the pan as the veal is already coated in oil. Once hot, take out the veal from the marinade (the remainder of which can now be discarded) and place on the griddle. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, then wrap in tin foil to rest whilst you are finishing the other dishes. The meat will keep warm and continue to cook slowly in it’s own heat.
  4. In a saucepan add the green beans and broccoli, a good pinch of salt and an inch or two of boiling water. Cook over a high-heat for a couple of minutes with the lid on , which will allow the veg to part boil and part steam. Give a stir round to make sure everything is tender, and it should only take a couple of minutes.
  5. Once the gnocchi are golden brown all over (which should take no more than 10 minutes), you’re ready to plate up. Any juices that have oozed out from the veal can be poured back over the meat on the plate – you don’t want to waste flavour!

Veal served with gnocchi

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B is also for Beef Wellington

To salivate the taste buds this weekend in preparation for the previously blogged Brownies, I invited a couple of friends round for Sunday dinner, where we indulged (even if I do say so myself) in individual Beef Wellingtons with porcini mushroom sauce and roasted new potatoes.

The mushrooms can be prepared in advance, so if you’re cooking for others, you just need to fry the beef and then it’s a quick assembly job before leaving to cook in the oven.

Beef Wellington - prepped for the oven

Beef Wellington – prepped for the oven

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g puff pastry (and plain flour for dusting)
  • 4 x 180-200g fillets of beef
  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 500g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 large onion (or 4 small shallots)
  • 300ml double cream
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Oil (anything flavourless in which to fry the meat)
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil
  • A good pinch of salt
  • A few twists of freshly ground pepper
Porcini mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms

Recipe:

These steps are for the mushroom mixture and can be prepared in advance:

  1. I prepare the pastry first, by cutting the block of defrosted puff pastry into 4 equal squares and then rolling out into equal-sized squares about 15cm x 15cm. Dust with a bit of flour and place on a tray and leave in the fridge.
  2. Place the porcinis in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. They take about 20 minutes to soften properly. Whilst they are softening, finely chop the onion (or shallots) and lightly fry in a large frying pan.
  3. Chop the chestnut mushrooms as small as you can and add to the onions. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of thyme.
  4. Drain the porcinis (keep the liquid as a stock for another dish later on), chop finely and add to the onions and other mushrooms.
  5. Add a big knob of butter and fry until nearly all the moisture has disappeared.
Mushrooms and onions

Mushrooms and onions

When you’re ready to cook the main dish, the following steps remain:

  1. An hour before you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut up the new potatoes, put in a baking tray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Drizzle over 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Approximately 30 minutes later, turn the oven up to 200°C. Put a griddle pan on a high heat. Whilst it’s getting warm, get the beef fillets out their packaging and rub all over with the oil. You oil the meat rather than the pan to stop it smoking too much.
  3. Fry the beef for about 4 minutes on each side.
  4. Whilst the meat is cooking, take the pre-cut pastry out the fridge, and place a large spoonful of the (now cooled) mushroom mix in the middle of each square.
  5. Once the beef is cooked, put each fillet on top of the mushroom mix on each pastry square. Fold each corner of the pastry into the centre, then the next fold in the newly formed corners again to seal the package. Flip over and place on a baking tray.
  6. Lightly beat the egg and brush over each beef wellington package. Add some artistic slashes into the top of each Beef Wellington and put into the oven for 15-20minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Roasted new potatoes, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme

Roasted new potatoes, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme

Beef Wellington - frying the fillets

Beef Wellington – frying the fillets

Beef Wellington - assembly

Beef Wellington – assembly

Beef Wellington - prepped for the oven

Beef Wellington – prepped for the oven

Whilst the Beef Wellingtons are in the oven, reheat the remaining mushroom mix, and add the double cream. Leave to bubble away until the sauce is slightly thicker and it’s ready to serve alongside the Beef Wellingtons.

Once the Beef Wellingtons and roast potatoes are ready (which should be the same time), take the out of the oven and serve up with steamed green beans.

Beef Wellington with porcini sauce and roasted new potatoes

Beef Wellington with porcini sauce and roasted new potatoes