Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jack McCarthy's Rose veal chops

Jack McCarthy - Ireland's finest artisan butcher - put the call out last week on Twitter that he had ten month old rose veal in stock. We were mega excited! Jack and his son Tim have a fine butcher's shop in Kanturk, Co Cork, with not just the usual fare but also their award winning puddings and sausages.

We have eaten veal many times but never actually cooked it ourselves, mainly because we could never source it. So after work last Friday I headed to Kanturk and as well as the fabulous Rose veal I came home with black puddings, white puddings, nitrate free rashers, air dried pork, Ardrahan cheese & smoky bacon sausages and Apple & Pork sausages. We'll be well fed for a good while!

The dish that was planned for Saturday night was ditched in favour of the veal, cookery books were scoured and it was between a Gordon Ramsay recipe and one we found online by Matt Tebbutt, the fennel in the latter one swung it for us as it's one of our favourite veg.

Here's what you'll need:

2 Rose veal chops
Olive oil for frying
2 cloves garlic crushed
White wine

For the fennel gratin:
2 fennel, cut into batons, green fronds finely chopped
A knob of butter, plus extra for greasing
300 ml double cream
1 cloves garlic, crushed
70 g emmental cheese, grated

For the crispy onions
½ onion, finely sliced
Milk, for soaking
Cornflour, for coating
Vegetable oil, for frying

Here's what you'll need to do:

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For the fennel gratin: bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the fennel batons and blanch for 1 minute.
Drain immediately and, while still warm, toss the batons with a knob of butter and the finely chopped fennel fronds. (If your fennel had no tops, you can use finely chopped dill instead.)
Transfer the fennel to a buttered ovenproof dish. 
Put the cream into a medium saucepan with the garlic, bring it to a simmer, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Pour the cream over the fennel, top with the grated cheese and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbling. While the gratin is cooking, prepare the veal chops.

Season the veal chops with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan until hot and cook the chops until golden and brown on each side.

When the veal is almost cooked, add the garlic and a splash of wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Add a good knob of butter, spoon this over the chops, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to rest, covered with foil, in a warm place for about 10 minutes.

For the crispy onions cover the sliced onions with milk and leave to soak for 10 minutes to remove some of the strong flavour.
Drain and pat dry, discarding the milk.
Season a little cornflour with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dip the onion rings in the seasoned cornflour and shallow fry in hot oil until nice and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

To serve, put the veal chops on plates and drizzle with the pan juices. Accompany with the fennel gratin and crispy onions.

We made some very chunky chips to go with the dish. It was lip smacking gorgeous - the veal was juicy, tender and tasty, scrummy!

And we teamed it with this wine which was quite nice, not too heavy with the Rose veal. And best of all we have 2 chops in the freezer so Gordon's recipe will get an airing one of these days!

More of Jack McCarthy's produce graced the table for Sunday's brunch along with great brown bread also from Kanturk (Philpott's) and all teamed with eggs from my brother's farm in Portmagee. The nitrate free rashers are great, just like rashers used to taste when I was a child! ( I was going to say in the old days but we won't go there!!!)


  1. I have 'veal' envy. Especially as it is stock n' stew season. I still cannot fathom 'why' Veal is not more widely available in Ireland considering all the great beef we have.

  2. I love going to McCarthy's - you always end up with more, in a very good way, than you bargained for!