Once in a while there’s this epic recipe you’ll make that you won’t be able to forget. This recipe will be stuck in your mind ‘till the end of time; you won’t be able to get it out of your mind. It’ll instantly be part of your classics; you’ll want to make it over and over again. Well. This weekend, this moment happened for me. I had a friend over for dinner. This dear friend is a very picky eater (no disrespect!) because there are quite a few things that she doesn’t like. But she’s also a food lover and when she finds something that she likes, she makes the world know how good that food is. So when I decided to take the big guns out and made some veal cheeks, I didn’t know if she would like it or not. She ate here first bite and said ‘yum, that’s so delicious!’ although not more. But then, as each and every bite grew on her, she kept on raising her voice, expressing how good, fantastic, luscious her meal was. She said the dish kept growing on her, bite after bite. Now honestly, that’s the best ever compliment someone could give a cook, no matter what the dish or the level of complexity is. If a dish grows and grows with the eater, it’ll stick to the brain and stay there forever, which is the mark of an incredible eating experience, which, ultimately, is what every chef wants to bring to the table. So, without any further due, I hereby present you an amazing dish, one I will do over and over again for my special guests: Red Wine Veal Cheeks! Take note, veal cheeks don’t come cheap (calculate about 10$ per guests for the meat only) so keep this dish for people who appreciate good food.
Red wine veal cheeks with mushrooms and Brussels sprouts
Serves 4 people – Preparation: 30 minutes – Cooking: 3 hours – Level: BIG KID
8 veal cheeks, cleaned and trimmed of fat
Salt & pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup smoked lard
½ cup red wine
1 ½ cups veal demi-glace
3 branches rosemary
3 branches thyme
3 cups various mushrooms, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chives
Salt & pepper
2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
Salt & pepper
PREPARATION (VEAL CHEEKS)
Preheat your oven at 325˚F. Put salt & pepper on both sides of the veal cheeks. In a dutch oven (oven proof casserole) over high heat, brown each side of the meat in the oil. Put aside on a plate.
Add the garlic and the lard and cook until they are golden. Put the veal cheeks back in the dutch oven and deglaze with the wine and the veal demi-glace. Make sure the meat is covered half way. If you don’t have enough liquid, add a little bit of water. Add the thyme and the rosemary. Cover with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours.
Once the cheeks are cooked, take them out and put them on a plate. Cover with aluminum foil. Reduce the cooking juices by half over high heat (takes about 10 minutes).
In a skillet, over high heat, cook the mushrooms in the olive oil for a few minutes. Close the heat and add the chives, salt and pepper. Serve under the veal cheeks.
PREPARATION (BRUSSELS SPROUTS)
Preheat the oven at 450˚F.
In a bowl, mix the halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Serve with the veal cheeks.