Spring is the time of renewal and rebirth. Because of that, many people associate veal with springtime. Veal is a fabulous, yet overlooked cut of meat that is perfect for any special occasion meal. In this recipe, thick veal chops are stuffed with prosciutto, fontina cheese and fresh sage leaves. The veal is browned and baked until the cheese oozes out. To finish the dish, the meat is topped with a simple sauce made with sage, white wine and veal stock. This meal is the epitome of fresh springtime flavors and over the top decadence, without that much work.
A nice piece of veal cannot come from the local grocery store. For this recipe, it is best to seek out the talents of a local butcher. Unfortunately, there are no butchers left in the Norfolk area. The closest butcher is the Village Butcher in Virginia Beach. Brad, the owner, knows and loves meat and it shows! He was excited to explain to me that all of his veal are milk fed, making it soft, supple and mild in flavor. This truly was the best veal the Norfolk Cooking Examiner has ever tasted – nothing will ever compare. When shopping for veal at Village Butcher, be sure to ask Brad to cut the chops 1 ½ inches thick as he cuts all of the veal to order.
Finished Stuffed Veal Chop - Kristin King
Prosciutto, Fontina and Sage Stuffed Veal Chops – serves 4
4, 1 ½ inch thick veal chops, trimmed (save trimmings for stock)
4 slices prosciutto
12 thin slices fontina
8 fresh sage leaves
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup veal stock (recipe follows)
1/4 cup white wine
1 tbsp butter
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a paring knife cut a 2 ½ inch deep, horizontal pocket that is 1 inch wide into the center of each chop. Lay out the slices of prosciutto and on the narrow end lay 1 sage leaf and 3 slices of fontina cheese on each. Starting at that end, roll the prosciutto up into a log and insert it into each veal chop. Some coercion may be necessary. Seal the veal chop closed with toothpicks. Season very lightly with salt and pepper
Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the veal chops. Cook on the first side for 4 minutes, or until golden brown and flip. Place the pan in the oven and cook the veal chops until an internal temperature reaches 140 degrees; 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and move the veal to a plate to rest. Reserve the pan and the pan juices.
Return the skillet to medium high heat and add 4 sage leaves to the pan juices to fry; about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with white wine and let reduce for 1 minute. Add the veal stock and continue to reduce for another 1-2 minutes; the sauce should be reduced to half. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, swirling to combine. Serve the sauce over top of the veal chops.
½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Brown the veal trimmings until they are a deep golden brown. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook until just brown; about 3 minutes. Cover the veal and vegetables with just enough cold water to barely cover; add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, covered. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain the stock and return to the pan to simmer for 30 minutes uncovered to reduce.
Need a side dish for this recipe? Try one of these!