This is a lovely, simple, basic method for braising veal chops or steaks. Serve just as is, enriching the braising juices with a little butter, or elaborating with cream and mushrooms or other trimmings, as described in the variations following this recipe. You might arrange the chops on a bed of creamed spainch or on the potatoes simmered in cream and tarragon.
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 by Julia Child (Alfred A. Knopf, 1970)
- 4 veal shoulder chops, 3/4-1-inch thick
- 4 Tablespoons butter, plus 3 extra tablespoons softened
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 Tablespoons minced shallots
- 1/2 Cup dry white wine
- 1 Cup veal stock, or chicken stock
- 1/2 Teaspoon tarragon
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- Minced parsley, for garnish
For the chops, cut the extra backbone pieces and remove any loose ribs, gristle, and excess fat; if tail is loose, wind it around the body of the meat and skewer in place. Dry meat thoroughly with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 of the olive in a pan, and when butter foam begins to subside, arrange as much meat in the pan as will easily fit 1 layer. Brown 3-4 minutes on each side, regulating heat so the butter is very hot but not browning. Remove meat to a side dish if you have not browned al at once, and brown the rest of the veal with more butter or oil if needed.
Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a pan in 1 even layer. Set over moderate heat, stir in the shallots, and cook 2 minutes, then pour in the wine and enough stock to come half way up the meat. Add the herbs and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, and maintain at a slow, steady simmer throughout cooking, basting the meat several times with the liquid from the pan. The meat should be finished in 50-60 minutes, and should be tender when pierced with a knife.
Arrange the veal on a platter; cover and keep warm in a turned-off oven, door ajar, for the few minutes it will take to finish the sauce. Skim the surface fat off of the cooking juices, bring to a boil, skimming, and boil down rapidly until liquid is almost syrupy. Carefully correct the seasoning, to taste, adding the lemon juice to taste. Remove from heat and swish in the 3 tablespoons of soft butter, ½ a tablespoon at a time. Spoon the sauce over the chops, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.