Poached and Roasted Veal Knuckle
Chef Michel Rostang, Restaurant Michel, Paris
Pot roast never had it so good: this roasted veal knuckle and its rich gravy redefine the concept. The veal knuckle is poached, then simmered with vegetables until it is nearly falling apart. The rich gravy begins with the poaching stock, deeply colored by pan-roasted veal bits and the poaching vegetables. The veal is basted with the enriched pan stock for 20 minutes to give it a rich brown glaze. The stock is then further enriched with veal demi-glace and vermouth before it arrives at the table as gravy. At each step, the initial basic ingredients of veal and chopped aromatic vegetables are further enriched, resulting in a wonderful depth of flavor at the end. Cantal cheese is a French cheese made from rich cow's milk; it is ivory-colored, but the is similar to cheddar and edam.
Roasted Veal Knuckle
2 veal knuckles, bone in, about 3 pounds each
2 leeks, cleaned
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 large onions, roughly chopped
6 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 pound veal meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Green part of 2 leeks (above)
Canola oil for deep-fat frying
2-1/2 pounds green peas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fleur de sel
5 ounces Cantal (semi-hard cows' milk cheese)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 quarts veal demi-glace
3 tablespoons Noilly Prat or other fine vermouth
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
6 ounces (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the knuckles. Bring the water back to a full rolling boil. Put the pot in the sink and pour cold water directly into the pot until the water around the knuckles is cold. Drain off enough water so that the knuckles are covered two-thirds of the way with water. Put back on the heat and bring to a boil. Cut off the green portion of the leeks and set aside; roughly chop the white portion. Add the chopped leeks, carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until the meat can easily be pulled from the bone, 2 to 3 hours. Remove the knuckles from the pan and set aside. Drain off the poaching liquid, divide into two containers, and reserve.
To prepare the leek baskets: While the knuckles are cooking, split the reserved green portion of the leeks in half lengthwise and separate into individual leaves. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the leeks, swishing them around in the water. When the water returns to a boil, remove the leeks and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Spread the leeks on paper towels and blot to remove all the water. Wrap leek leaves around a cylindrical metal mold, about 2-1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall, overlapping leaves to completely cover the mold. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan. Holding a mold with tongs, dip into the hot oil and fry until the leek is crisp, 20 to 30 seconds. Lift, drain, and place on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, slip the leek basket off the mold and set aside. Repeat to make 12 leek baskets.
To prepare the risotto: Shell the peas, reserving both peas and shells separately. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and add the peas. Return to a boil and cook 4 to 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain. Peel the peas and return to the pan with 2 tablespoons of butter. Toss over medium-low heat until glazed with butter. Season lightly with fleur de sel. Set aside.
Shave 12 small pieces of the cantal cheese for garnish and set aside. Grate the remaining cheese and set aside. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions are softened but not browned. Add the rice and white wine, toss to coat, and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Using one of the containers of veal cooking liquid, add enough of the liquid to cover the rice and cook again, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding cooking liquid, bit by bit, and stirring, until the rice is al dente. Add the cream and the butter from the peas and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft. Add the grated cantal and the peas. If you still have veal cooking liquid left, use it in the next step below.
To finish the veal: When the knuckles have finished cooking, preheat the oven to 375 F. Put the drained vegetables into a roasting pan and add the chopped veal meat. Brown over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the meat and vegetables are a deep brown color, add a little of the reserved poaching liquid and stir up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Put the knuckles into the pan and baste with the remaining poaching liquid. Roast 20 minutes, basting often with the pan juices. Remove the knuckles and place in a serving platter.
Put the roasting pan and its contents back over medium-high heat and reduce the juice by one half. Stir in the demi-glace and vermouth and reduce again by half. Stir in the grated Parmesan and the butter until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the gravy and set aside.
To serve: Slice the veal and divide among 6 warmed serving plates. Place two leek cups on each plate and fill with risotto. Drizzle the veal and plates with veal gravy. Garnish with the reserved cantal shavings.
Cantal Cheese Tart
(The Nouvelle Cuisine by Jean and Pierre Troisgros)
150g flaky pastry
3 medium tomatoes (100g each)
2 tbsps virgin olive oil
180g cheese, Fourme du Cantal or Cheddar
1 tbsp tarragon mustard
salt and pepper
Roll out the pastry into a round 26 cm (10 inch) in diameter. Place about 20 cm (8 inch) flan ring on a lightly moistened baking sheet and lower the pastry over the centre of the ring. Cut off the extra pastry round the edges with the rolling-pin. Press the pastry down into the corners of the ring so that it does not break when you take it out, and pinch up the edges. Lightly prick the base with the point of a knife and keep in a cool place.
Slice the tomatoes across into rounds 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick and discard the top and bottom slices. Taking care not to break them, remove all the pips carefully from each slice. Arrange on a plate, season with salt and pepper and coat with olive oil. Leave them to marinate for 15 minutes, turning them over two to three times.
Remove the rind and cut the cheese into slices 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF. Spread the mustard over the base of the tart, cover with the cheese and arrange the tomato slices prettily on top. Sprinkle the tomato marinade over all. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven.
Let the flan rest for 15 minutes, to allow the filling to set a little, slide it onto a round plate, removing the ring, and cut into four. The flan is best eaten lukewarm, as it will be after resting for 15 minutes although you can serve it hot straight from the oven.
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