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Veal Chop with Chimichurri

Veal can be divisive, as I wrote about here, but I really think it is time it properly came back. It's such a tasty meat and has the benefit of feeling a bit like a treat, and its nice to have a change from usual mature beef or steaks. I always use half veal and half pork mince for bolognese and it really makes a difference with a much more delicate and authentic flavour, and from time to time we splash out on a fancy veal chop from Ginger Pig as an alternative to a big old rib eye, but this can set you back a hefty £20-25 for two so I was really pleased to see some lovely veal chops on the bone in my local Tesco at just £20/kilo (I wouldn't bother with a sirloin or anything as you really need bone for the flavour oomph). One big one (above) and a slightly less greedy sized one (below) cost me just under a tenner in total.


Veal purchased, I set about creating a Friday night dinner of champions. Having memorised the Hawksmoor method of cooking steak, I took my veal out the fridge to get to room temperature about an hour beforehand and got my good heavy griddle pan as smoking hot as my crappy hob would allow. You need to be prepared for smoke for this method, but just open all your windows and shut the door as it is worth it. Hawksmoor don't use any fat for their way, but having this I actually like to use a small amount of butter and olive oil (to stop the butter burning) as I find it allows more colour. Once the fat is smoking you can put the meat in. My veal had a long strip of fat on one side, so I placed it on its side to make sure this all rendered down before properly cooking the meat. I'm sure everyone knows how to cook steak and veal is no different - basically make sure the meat has the most contact as possible with the pan by pressing it down, and baste it a lot. I always season in the pan too rather than beforehand in order to stop salt drawing the moisture out and making the meat flabby. A few minutes of searing heat either side is enough for me as I like my meat rare rare rare, and then it's time for resting. This is the most important part of the process. You need to give it about 5-10 mins in a warm place without allowing the meat to cook any more. A turned off oven and some foil works for me.

While the meat is resting, make your chimichurri (a kind of South American sauce). Just blitz up lime juice, garlic, chilli, olive oil, a splash of water and plenty of fresh herbs like parsley, coriander and basil. It cuts through the rich meat really nicely and is not as calorific as a bearnaise.


We had our veal with (oven) chips as I was feeling lazy and a rocket and parmesan salad: it was a very satisfying 800 or so calories.

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