food monthly: Veal with a conscience
February 03, 2011
Mya Lacarte explains how to eat veal without a guilty conscience and shares a recipe for ravishing rose veal
Veal stirs the emotion like few other foods; but thanks to new farming methods and improved awareness of the veal trade, this fantastic meat is now being talked about for all the right reasons.
Times have changed, people now have a choice about what they want to happen to bull calves; if UK producers fail to farm organic veal with a high welfare system, as is ours at Mya Lacarte, then they will either be shot at birth or transported to Europe.
Supporters of veal insist that unwanted dairy calves should be raised for meat in Britain, where welfare standards are higher than on the continent. Here, calves are kept in more spacious conditions.
Modern organic farmers’ animals roam outside and are fed roughage as well as liquids, and are suckled by older cows from the dairy herd. They live to six months, twice as long as the slowest growing chicken, longer than many pigs and lambs.
British veal, which is less intensively reared rose veal (so named because of its light pink colour) is delicious and wholesome. As versatile as chicken, it can be used in everything from sandwiches to stir fries. At Mya, we are about to introduce it on to our new seasonal A La Carte menu. Try this dish at your next soiree .....
Paupiette of British Rose Veal and Calves Liver, Parsley Mash Potato, Aromatic Sauce
For the parsley mash
1 kg of your favourite potato
For the veal
2 cloves of garlic
Bunch of washed parsley (to use in mashed potato too)
350g minced pork belly
50cl double cream
4 x escalope of British rose veal
For the aromatic sauce
3 garlic cloves
2 thyme stalks
175ml beef stock
50ml white wine
For the Calves’ liver
2 slices of calves’ liver from your butcher (ask him to cut each piece into 4)
Handful of plain flour
Make the potato. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes, place them in a pan and completely cover with cold water and add some salt. Bring to the boil then gently simmer for around 20 minutes until soft.
Mash the potatoes and add the butter and milk. Season appropriately and add your chopped parsley.
For the veal, finely chop the shallot and garlic cloves. Gently pan-fry in a bit of butter until soft. Don’t allow to colour (place ingredients in a cold pan and cook slowly on a low heat).
Once cooked, allow to cool.
Add some roughly chopped parsley.
In a bowl, put the minced pork belly, cream, cooled shallots, garlic, parsley and season. Mix using your clean hands, giving it a lot of love.
Portion out the stuffing on to the 4 veal escalopes and fold in the corners, tying up your parcel with the kitchen string. You have created your paupiette!
For sauce, in a pan that can be used in the oven and large enough for all the paupiettes (if you do not have a versatile pan then you will have to improvise accordingly), pan-fry in oil and sear both sides of the paupiette.
This stage is just about colouring your meat by searing quickly. Take the meat out of the pan and put to one side.
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Using the pan you used for the paupiettes, dice the carrot and onion and sweat it down with the 3 crushed garlic cloves, adding the 2 thyme stalks as well.
When the veg are soft, add the wine and reduce it until nearly dry. Add the beef stock and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and place the paupiettes back into the pan and cover with a lid or tin foil.
Place into the oven (at this stage you may have to transfer ingredients into a heatproof dish if your pan with lid is not suitable for the oven).
Cook for 25-30 minutes.
Remove the paupiettes and discard the kitchen string. Place to one side. Reduce the sauce to the texture required.
For the calves’ liver, slice your livers into 4 portions, dust with flour and pan-fry. Pink is always best. The flour will give your liver a lovely, crispy finish.
To finish: assemble your mash (warmed up), paupiette and liver on the plate and garnish your plate with the sauce to suit. Add some fresh leaves for a bit of colour and crunch if you like, et voila!