Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Poor Man's Veal Piccata

Still being creative with chopped meat, I bought a pound of chopped veal last week. I've typically avoided veal due to concerns about treatment of the animals, but I trust Whole Foods' policy (they won't sell lobsters any more, which I don't agree with, but it is indicative they are concerned about the creatures).

As chopped meat goes, it ain't cheap -- I think it was $8.99/pound, but still cheaper than any other cut of veal. Now, what to do? I looked up recipes for Veal Piccata and found one on the Food Network site by Emeril Lagasse. It worked beautifully with just a few adjustments. The sauce is lemony and intense. I served with pasta tossed in butter and olive oil flavored with a little garlic powder, which cut through the pungency of the veal sauce.

Do not be tempted to substitute chopped beef. This requires a delicately flavored meat. I could see chopped chicken as a possibility.

Poor Man's Veal Piccata recipe

1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 pound chopped veal
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 lemon, juiced

In a shallow bowl combine the flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt and pepper and stir to combine. Divide the veal into four sections and form into patties as thin as possible without them falling apart. Dredge the patties in the flour mix, being sure to coat thoroughly and then shaking gently to remove excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons of the butter. When it has melted, gently add the patties to the frying pan and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, without burning, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits. When the wine has been reduced by half, add the chicken stock, chopped garlic and lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, remaining 3-1/2 tablespoons of butter and the parsley.

If by the time the butter has melted the sauce has not begun to thicken, whisk in some of the leftover flour mix, perhaps a teaspoon, and then maybe one more if needed. Be careful not to overdo this.

Return the patties to the pan and cook until heated through, turning of desired, about one minute. Serve immediately, spooning sauce over each patty.