One of my very favorite things to do in cooking, is to use ingredients from the garden – stepping outside to pick what I need in the moment. In AZ, that mainly means herbs, so it was fun to be able to use what’s on hand for this recipe – at least in large part.
The recipe is really split into two methods and time periods. A slow braise with typical flavors of carrot, onion, thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Then a very-fresh sauce, made quickly to provide a fresh, spring-like component. The sauce is composed of fresh herbs and greens.
For the first half of this recipe, we prep our vegetables and beef for the braise. I ended up using a veal chop that I had in the freezer, since I didn’t want to make a whole recipe.
Dorie has us boiling the veal in plain water to remove impurities. I wanted to do this also, because I was using the bone, since I thought it would enrich the sauce. Wow, it was clearly an important step.
Once that’s accomplished and everything “cleaned up”, the veal and aromatics go into the pan for a long slow simmer.
At this point, the meat and broth can be refrigerated until just before serving. The carrots, onions, etc. are removed and discarded. They’ve done their part, and no longer have much of any flavor.
When nearly ready to serve, the veal is re-heated in the broth, then removed. The broth is reduced until it’s pretty syrupy. Then the herbs are all added. I used arugula, spinach and dill. And from the garden, parsley and Mexican tarragon (it has a very similar flavor, and very pretty yellow flowers).
This gets cooked just enough to wilt the greens, then the sauce is to be blended with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender. Probably because I had reduced the recipe so much, this didn’t work. It also didn’t work in the small blender container for the same tool. It ended up being chunky, rather than smooth. Finally, the dish gets finished with some fresh lemon juice, and a bit of crème fraîche, though I ended up using a bit of light sour cream (poor shopping on my part). The meat gets added back in, and it’s ready to serve.
I read that others didn’t love the “green” of the sauce for this, but it wasn’t a problem for me. Where I live, green chile sauce is always welcome, and if you saw my post about spinach pesto – well, you can see that it’s not an issue. But this was not a huge hit. I worried about the tarragon flavor, since it’s really not a favorite. I think it made the sauce sweeter than I’d like, though the dill was pretty nice – and yet another flavor not as high on the list.
So was this bad? – no. I liked the technique too, and it was fun to make, but unlike others, this is probably not something I’d repeat. If you would like to see what others thought, you can find their links here.