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Meat RecipesVeal Recipes >  Rack of Veal, Chestnut Stuffing


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How to Cook Meat by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby

There are many cuts of veal that are tender enough to dry-roast, but this is the one with the most flavor. It's a pretty fancy cut, so you will definitely be heading to your butcher for this. As always with cuts that are somewhat unusual, it pays to call a couple of days in advance to be sure the butcher can get it for you.
OTHER NAMES - Hotel rack, veal rib roast
BUTCHERSPEAK - This cut is known in the trade as a "hotel rack," probably because it was often served in fancy hotel dining rooms in days past If you go to any butcher who supplies meat to high-end restaurants and ask him for a hotel rack, you will get exactly what you want: a 7-bone veal roast with the bones frenched.

Serves 6 To 7

     If you're looking for a very impressive dish to serve for a holiday dinner, you've just found it. The rib rack has all the best attributes of veal: It is tender, it has some rich flavor, and it makes a nice foil for other somewhat subtle ingredients. Here we just sprinkle it with salt and pepper and roast it very simply, then dress it up with a chestnut stuffing, brandied oranges, and a light jus flavored with basil.
     The key to making this dish, with its various components that come together at the end, is to make everything in the right order: Get the veal in the oven to brown, then make the stuffing so it can go into the oven when you turn the heat down, then brandy the oranges, and then, when the meat comes out of the oven, set it aside to rest and make the quick jus.
     When you have this dish coming to the table, all you need to complete your holiday dinner is some applesauce and the green vegetable of your choice, or, if you're feeling really ambitious or have another cook who wants to chip into the effort, maybe a cheese souffle.

One 7-bone rack of veal, frenched, about 5 pounds
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 red onion, peeled and diced small
1 cup celery diced small
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)
5 cups 1 -inch cubes country-style bread
1 cup veal or chicken stock
One 10-ounce can chestnuts, rinsed
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 navel oranges, peeled and pulled apart into segments
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brandy or Cognac
Pinch of salt

1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup veal or chicken stock
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 500°F

2. Dry the veal and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper. Place it on a rack in a roasting pan and roast until well browned, about 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and cook until the meat is done to your liking, 30 to 40 minutes for medium-rare. To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the dead center of the roast and let it sit for 5 seconds, then read the temperature: 126°F is medium-rare, 134°F is medium, 150°F is medium-well, and 160°F is well-done; we like to pull it at 132°F.

3. Once the veal has gone into the oven, make the stuffing: In a very large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the bread cubes, stir to coat well with the butter, and saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the stock, and stir gently to distribute it evenly. Add the chestnuts and parsley, stir gently to mix, and season with salt and pepper. Turn the stuffing into a lightly buttered casserole dish or other ovenproof dish and cover (with aluminum foil if the dish doesn't have a cover). When you turn the oven down to 300°F for the veal, place the stuffing in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

4. After the stuffing has gone into the oven, make the oranges: In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orange segments and stir gently to coat with the butter. Sprinkle the sugar over the oranges, add the brandy and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oranges are well glazed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

5. When the veal is done, transfer it to a platter, tent it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes or so.

6. Tilt the roasting pan to skim off and discard the fat that has collected in the pan, leaving the drippings behind. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat and add the red wine and stock. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the brown crusty stuff in the bottom of the pan, and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.

7. Carve the rack between the bones into individual chops. Place a small serving of stuffing on each plate, place a chop on top, drizzle the basil jus over the top, put several orange segments alongside, and serve.


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