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SAUTEED MEDALLIONS OF VEAL WITH ARTICHOKE HEARTS, LEMON, AND THYME

How to Cook Meat by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby

A medallion of veal is one of those cuts for which sauteing was invented. Tender enough to cook through quickly, it responds perfectly to this high-heat approach. So we feature them in this very simple, straightforward dish full of flavors from the northern shores of the Mediterranean. If you want to make a fancy dinner in a hurry, make this recipe using the canned artichoke heart option. And don't be afraid of the pan sauce in this or any of the other veal recipes. Making the sauce is actually very simple—just taste and reduce, taste and reduce, and add a bit of salt and pepper at the end. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be a regular French chef.
We might serve this with a simple Rice Pilaf and Sauteed Spinach with Garlic.
Serves 4

Ingredients

• 8 baby artichokes (or substitute 12 canned artichoke hearts)
• 1 lemon, halved and seeded
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
• 1½ pounds boneless veal leg, cut into 8 medallions about 1/2 inch thick
• Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
• 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1 cup veal or chicken stock
• 1/2 cup dry white wine or white vermouth
• 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (optional)
• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
 

Directions

1. Prepare the artichokes (if using canned artichoke hearts, skip to Step 3): Trim the stems and snap off the coarse outer leaves, then cut 1 inch off the tops of each one; rub the cut areas immediately with one of the lemon halves. Quarter each artichoke and remove the hairy-looking choke from each quarter. Transfer to a bowl of water, along with the used lemon half.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the artichokes, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until they are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, cool in a bowl of ice water, and drain again. Set aside.

3. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Dry the veal medallions with paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Add the medallions to the pan, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, and saute until they are just nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side; transfer the medallions to a platter as they are done.

4. When all the medallions have been cooked, pour off the fat or add oil to the pan as needed so you have a total of about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the stock and wine, squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half into the pan, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Skim any scum from the surface of the liquid and simmer vigorously until reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce the heat and, if using the butter, swirl it into the sauce bit by bit, keeping the sauce at a gentle simmer.

5. Add the veal medallions, along with any accumulated juices, thyme, parsley, and artichokes to the sauce and season to taste. Leave on the heat for just 1 minute, then serve the veal topped with the sauce and artichokes.
 

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