Thursday, January 3, 2013

Veal Chops with Caramelized Shallots

Just yesterday I walked into a local store and all the Christmas decorations were being replaced by red hearts, cupids and boxes of chocolates. Valentine's Day can be a nice time to go out to dinner with your "special someone" or cook a romantic dinner for two.  I remember cooking my first valentines day dinner for a boyfriend in high school. I made heart shaped ravioli..pretty cheesy now that I look back. I also remember my first valentines day dinner with my husband. At the time we just started dating and I cooked stuffed chicken breast and I made chocolate covered strawberries.

Thinking about dinner for two reminded me of a recipe I made recently. It is perfect for two people, it is so delicious and will really impress who ever is lucky enough to eat it. The reason I believe this dish is perfect for two is because veal chops happen to be on the expensive side. However, if you would like to splurge, this recipe is perfect for a dinner party. It is simple to prepare and easily as tasty as any fine dining restaurant dish. I have included a recipe for 4 below, you can easily cut it in half for two or double it for guests.

Veal Chops with Caramelized Shallots (recipe from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof)
Serves 4

15 whole shallots, trimmed with roots ends intact
24 whole garlic cloves (2 heads)
2 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1/3 cup good sherry vinegar
1/2 cup ruby port wine
1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 (10-14 oz) bone-in rib veal chops, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
3 tbsp good olive oil, plus extra for grilling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add shallots and garlic for 15 seconds. Drain and peel them; blanching makes peeling easier. If any shallots are very large, cut them in half through the root so they stay intact.

3. In a large oven proof saute pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add shallots, garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, and saute for 2 minutes over med-high heat.

4. Place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes, tossing once, until the shallots and garlic are lightly browned.

5. Place the pan on the stove-top, add in remaining 2 tbsp of butter and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add in vinegar and port, bring to a boil, and simmer for 6 minutes until liquid is reduced. Add in brown sugar and thyme and cook for 1 minute, until syrupy.

6. Meanwhile, place the veal chops on a board and pat dry. Rub all over with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes while you prepare charcoal fire or heat gas grill to medium heat (or you can use grill pan on stove-top) If you are using charcoal, make only one or two layers of coals.

Grill veal chops for 6-8 minutes per side, until nicely browned and cooked to internal temp. of 145 degrees F. Transfer to a serving platter, cover tightly with foil and let rest 10 mins. Reheat the shallots and garlic and spoon over veal chops, sprinkle with extra thyme and salt, serve hot.

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