Veal with Mustard Sauce

December 16, 2017 – Veal with Mustard sauce is one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever made.  And yet I almost didn’t write this piece.  Why?  Because I didn’t get a good picture of the finished product.

But I reconsidered.  After all, this website is about food, not photography.  So I’m not a great photographer.  But I can cook!

I have my own recipe but I like to research those used by others.  Some of them are very complicated with long lists of ingredients.  Most are simple, as is mine.

Most incorporate mushrooms.  Though I love mushrooms, I don’t include them in my mustard sauce.

Most incorporate some kind of wine, as does mine.  Most use heavy cream, though I found one that uses chicken broth.  Chicken broth in a mustard sauce doesn’t sound right to me but to each his own.  I have used cream in the past but this time I decided to do something a little different.  Sour cream!  It brought out even more of the mustard’s subtle tang.  A good idea.

I like to use Creole mustard but any good quality dark mustard is fine.

For sautéing the veal, I use butter and olive oil.  The butter adds richness while the olive oil keeps the butter from burning.

The veal scallops must be very thin.  You  can usually find them in good markets.  If they’re too thick, you can pound them yourself or have the butcher do it for you.

Oh, and not only is this one of the most delicious meals ever, it takes hardly any time to prepare.  In 15 minutes or less you can put a plate fit for royalty on the table.

Here’s my take on Veal with Mustard Sauce.

Veal with Mustard Sauce

6 veal scallops, very thin

1/2 cup flour seasoned to taste with salt & pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons shallot, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon Creole mustard

Dust the veal well with the flour.  Melt the butter and heat the olive oil over moderate heat in a heavy skillet.

Cook the veal quickly until it begins to brown, about two minutes per side.  Do not over cook it.

Remove the veal from the pan and keep it warm while you make the sauce.

Cook the minced shallot briefly.  Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any fond left by the veal.  Let it simmer until the liquid is almost evaporated.  Stir in the sour cream and bring it to a boil.  Let it bubble briefly, less than a minute, while you incorporate the shallot and wine residue into the sour cream.

Remove the skillet from the heat.  Stir in the mustard.

Spoon the mustard sauce over plated veal.

Bon temps!

 

 

 

Pork Roast with Baked Beans

December 11, 2017 – It is true that beans were cultivated throughout the Americas for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans.  I have written before about the Three Sisters method of cultivation used by the First Americans.  Corn, providing a stalk for beans to climb; beans, injecting nitrogen needed by the corn into the soil; and squash, offering shade thereby slowing the evaporation of water from the soil and also keeping predators away with their sticky, disagreeable leaves.  (http://travelsthroughalife.com/?p=551)

While the Narragansett, Penobscot, and Iriquois who met the first Europeans landing in North America did introduce them to the small white bean we now sometimes call Navy beans, the Europeans had been growing many other varieties of beans themselves for centuries.  The first written mention of the well known French peasant dish cassoulet was in 1355 as the Europeans were flailing away at each other during the One Hundred Years War.  The cassoulet, named for the conical clay bean pot called a cassole, usually included pork or mutton.

The native inhabitants of the New World cooked their beans very much like the Europeans.  Slowly over low heat.  They seasoned their beans with maple syrup and bear fat.  The first Europeans used molasses and pork fat.  Bacon.

Boston baked beans became the rage in Colonial America.  The main reason for that seems to be that Boston was awash in molasses in those days.   It was a dish that became a favorite throughout the colonies.  Even George Washington is said to have served a version, usually with some cut of pork, at Mount Vernon. 

Since I had a pork roast and a bag of small white beans, it seemed like the opportune time for a return to colonial days.  And, as usual, I decided to risk heresy by making a few changes.  This is not a recipe for traditional Boston baked beans.

Instead of molasses, I combined brown sugar (which in my defense does contain a little molasses) with cream cheese.  To thin it I used beef stock we had made a few days earlier from the bones of some short ribs.  But stock made from pork, veal, or chicken would do as well.  If you don’t have stock, water will work as the pork will make its own broth as it cooks.

I slow-cooked the pork and beans together for four hours.  The result was fork-tender pork and beans that were deliciously creamy.  So good our little puppy Molly stayed close by hoping for a few morsels tossed her way!

With apologies to Boston and Colonial America, here’s my take on baked beans with pork.

Pork Roast with Baked Beans

1 pound small white beans

1 handful parsley

1 3 – 4 pound pork shoulder roast

Rosemary

1 onion, chopped

2/3 cup cream cheese

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons dry mustard

Beef stock

Salt & pepper to taste

Cover the beans with water and let them soak over night.

When ready to cook, drain and rinse the beans.  Place them in a pot with enough water to cover them by about an inch.  Toss in the parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.  Drain and rinse.

While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 325.

Rub the roast well with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Place it in a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid.

Surround the roast with the beans and chopped onion.

Mix the cream cheese, brown sugar, and dry mustard.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir until well mixed.   Add enough stock to make the mixture liquid.  Use a blender or whisk to completely liquefy the cream cheese in the stock.  Pour the cream cheese-stock over the beans, adding  additional stock if needed to cover them.

With the lid on the pot, set it on a rack in the middle of the oven.  Cook for four hours, checking periodically to be sure the beans remain covered with liquid.

Uncover the last half hour to let the meat brown.  The beans will thicken during this period.  Stir them after the first 15 minutes.  Stir again after the pot is removed from the oven.

Bon temps!