Vegetarians beware. This post may contain disturbing pictures. I’m sensitive to the beliefs of vegetarians and always honor their requests when cooking for them. While I generally follow a Mediterranean diet of mostly vegetables, grains, legumes and fish, I do desire a piece of meat now and then. So when given the opportunity to cook for a bunch of meat loving carnivores, I go to town. I tend to like my meat cooked on the grill when possible. However, grilling can be challenging, especially in my household. For some reason, I have always thought of grilling as “the man’s job.” So I continually pass this job off to my husband, which is a big mistake. Yet I continue to do so and am always upset when he ruins a beautiful, expensive piece of meat. He has literally charred thousands of dollars of meat to ruins over the years. We have fondly nicknamed him “the killa on the grilla.” And yes indeed, he can kill a nice cut of meat, if you let him. Where is my feminist self? Why can’t I be the griller in the family?
Recently, we were having a dinner party for 6 meat loving friends. I decided to take the challenge, and prove to myself that I can grill as good as the next guy/gal. After all, I have watched enough episodes of chef Bobby Flay on the grill. I also have another secret weapon. I had a foolproof recipe for barbecued veal chops that I tore out of the New York Times Magazine in 1985. At that time, I was planning my first dinner party where the food was to be cooked on a grill. I was nervous, to say the least, but this recipe was very explicit in it’s directions. It worked to perfection then and has not failed me since.
So I would like to share the marinade, as well as the cooking method with you. The cooking method used in this recipe from the Times was a charcoal grill, as gas grills were not as common as they are now. However, I also have the perfect method for the gas grill as well, by consulting several grilling cookbooks over the years. Once you try this, I believe it will be in your grilling repertoire for many years to come. Please don’t let the rice miso scare you. It’s now very easy to find in most supermarkets, and you can use the extra in soups and dips.
Come on ladies…. you can do it!
RECIPE: Barbecued Veal Chops
4 loin veal chops, 1 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 TBSP dark soy sauce
2 1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP spicy mustard sauce (see recipe)
1 TBSP light rice miso
1 1/2 TBSP medium dry sherry
1 1/2 TBSP minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cups scallions, cut into 1/8 inch rounds, white and green parts included
1 TBSP green peppercorns (in brine), drained and crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2cup medium-dry sherry (for broiling if indoors).
1. Score each veal chop on both sides by making opposing diagonal slashes about a quarter-inch deep.
2. Combine the soy sauce, olive oil, spicy mustard sauce ( recipe below), miso and one-and-a-half tablespoons of sherry in a bowl. Stir well, then add the ginger, garlic, scallions, green peppercorns and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
3. Place the veal chops in a dish large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Rub the marinade on both sides of the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for four to twelve hours. Take the meat out of the refrigerator thirty minutes or so before grilling, to bring it back to room temperature.
4. To barbecue outdoors on a charcoal grill: Adjust the grill rack so that it is not more than six inches from the coals. Light the coals and allow them to burn about 45 minutes to one hour. When the coals turn white, place the veal chops on the grill rack. Cook for 6 minutes, then turn over and cook another 6 minutes. This will produce a medium chop, crusty on the outside and pink within. Allow the meat to sit at least 5 minutes on a serving plate before serving. To barbecue on a gas grill: Turn the grill on to High heat. Let it heat up for 15 minutes. Put the chops on the direct high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, and then turn the meat and cook for another 5 minutes. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.
5. To cook indoors in the broiler: Preheat the broiler for 20 minutes. Place the veal chops on a rack resting in a shallow roasting pan. Broil them as close to the flame as possible for 6 minutes. Turn the chops over and carefully sprinkle in a half cup of sherry, which will prevent the drippings from burning and will add flavor to the natural sauce. Broil the chops another 6 minutes, then remove to a serving platter. Reduce and deglaze the the drippings by placing the pan over a low heat, then stirring until all the juices have been incorporated into the sauce. Pour this over the chops.
Spicy mustard sauce:
1 2-ounce tin of Colman’s (or any brand) dry mustard
3/4 cup medium dry sherry
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 Pommery (or any brand) cracked-seed mustard
1. Place the dry mustard in the bowl of a food processor.
2. Pulse the machine on and off while pouring the sherry through the feeding tube. Continue processing until you have a smooth, thick paste. Add more sherry if necessary.
3. Add the dijon and cracked-seed mustards. then turn the machine on and off a few times. Adjust the consistency with more sherry if necessary to achieve a thick mustard sauce.
4. Store in lidded glass jars in the refrigerator for up to two months.