The elegant rich flavor of sherry creme, cepe mushrooms and white asparagus with escalloped veal!
Most of my experience in fine dining kitchens was as a saute chef and saucier. Veal was and still is a marquis fine dining menu item. I used to butcher 2-3 veal legs in the afternoon just for a busy evening dinner shift.
Knowing what the different veal leg sections are used for is important when "breaking down" a leg of veal. There are three tough sections that are better off ground or stewed. Cutlet sections, tenderloin tip sections and of course the sections for veal escallops are the prized cuts of a veal leg. All of the scraps are separated for stewing or ground veal. The bones are sawed in pieces for veal stock. The meaty shank section is sawed for braising dishes like osso bucco.
It sounds like a lot of work, but I can completely break down a leg of veal in twenty to thirty minutes. That includes removing all silver floss, tendons and cutting each serving portion. I kept several boning knives razor sharp. When one knife started "dragging" or getting slightly dull, I would switch to the next sharp knife. It was better to sharpen all the boning knives at one time, while on break, during those busy days. A chef's honing steel only helps to keep a knife sharp when it begins to dull.
As a chef, I can recognize a single little piece of veal leg and identify which leg section it came from. At the grocery store today, I saw packages of veal stew meat. There were rather large pieces of boneless veal in the packages.
Upon a closer look at the veal stewing meat package, I saw a few stewing pieces, but there were also some large veal tenderloin pieces and tender escalloped section pieces that were mixed in. I butterfly cut the clumsily butchered tenderloin pieces and the butt section pieces. I gently pounded the butterflied veal very thin with a wine bottle. I placed the unwanted pieces of tough veal stewing meat in a plastic bag and froze them for another meal at a later date.
It was nice to end up with $12.00 dollars worth of escalloped veal for a total cost of $1.50! Chefs like myself can be very sharp grocery store shoppers!
Escallops of Veal with White Asparagus and Cepe Sherry Creme Recipe:
Soak 1 tiny handful of dried cepe mushrooms a small container of water in a refrigerator, till they reconstitute and become soft. (Only about 2 tablespoons of mince reconstituted cepe mushroom is needed to flavor the sauce.)
Pound 4 pieces of veal escallops thin with a mallet or wine bottle. (About 6 ounces total of veal escallops is a good portion.)
Dredge the escalloped veal pieces in flour.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
Add 1 small splash of olive oil.
Saute the veal escallops, till they become fully cooked and till light brown highlights appear.
Add 6 peeled white asparagus spears that are about 4 or 5 inches long. (Only peel the white asparagus if they are large or thick. Thin white asparagus will be tender without peeling.)
Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped cepe mushrooms.
Saute for about 20 seconds.
Add 3/4 cup of sherry.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
Simmer and reduce the sherry by half.
Add 3/4 cup of cream.
Simmer and reduce educe the sauce, till it becomes a medium thin cream sauce consistency.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Overlap the escalloped veal and white asparagus spears on a plate.
Spoon the cepe sherry cream sauce over the veal and asparagus.
Serve with a vegetable of your choice. Serve a potato of your choice on the side.
Braised Thin Cabbage Wedge with Red Bell Pepper:
I served this entree with a boiled and buttered thin cabbage wedge that was topped with a sprinkle of chopped red bell pepper. This vegetable has nice eye appeal!
Cut a medium size cabbage head in half.
Cut a thin 3/8" slice of cabbage from top to the core end bottom. Leave the core attached.
Place the thin cabbage wedge in a shallow pan and add just enough water to cover the cabbage.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
Place the pan over medium/medium low heat.
Cover the pan with a lid.
Allow the cabbage to braise, till the cabbage become tender, but not soft.
Use a spatula to place the thin cabbage wedge on a plate.
Sprinkle some diced red bell pepper over the cabbage.
This is a nice tasting recipe that really has great eye appeal! The flavor of sherry and cepe mushrooms in a cream sauce is classic. The light flavor of white asparagus is perfect for escalloped veal and sauce!
Cepe mushrooms have a classic deep mushroom flavor that is prized by chefs. Porcini are cepes too. Both are in the boleti polypore mushroom family of mushrooms. Cepe mushrooms that are grown on one side of a particular mountain in Italy are labeled as porcini. There is a distinct difference in flavor when cepe and porcini are compared even though genetically they are the same strain of mushroom.
Delicious! ... Shawna