Eric Wolfinger
Rack of Veal Roasted in Dandelion Butter, Spring Onion with Ocean Persillade
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Rack of Veal Roasted in Dandelion Butter, Spring Onion with Ocean Persillade

Manresa: An Edible Reflection, David Kinch with Christine Muhlke - December 3rd, 2013

This recipe has been adapted from Manresa: An Edible Reflection by David Kinch with Christine Muhlke―a book featured in Words-to-Table Cooking, Food Arts' yearly roundup of chef-authored cookbooks.

“Softness and richness are no longer the definition of luxury. Instead, roasting celebrates meat’s inherent characteristics. Texture is at the fore: a slight chew is not a flaw but a facet to relish. Developing the skill of roasting on the bone, which imparts its own complex flavor, pays remarkable dividends.”

This is my favorite example of a gentle, respectful method of preparing a roast that brings out the best characteristics of an excellent piece of meat. Slowly coloring the veal to make it golden instead of just ‘brown’ and watching, turning, even listening to how it sounds in the pan is, for me, the very art of cooking. Through slow, controlled evaporation and prolonged resting, one can achieve a beautiful color, even cooking, and concentrated flavor without losing any flavorful juices. Most important, the meat will retain its unique characteristics, whether veal, beef, lamb, chicken, venison, or pork—something you just don’t get with sous-vide. Roasts taste of what they are, making the choice of quality ingredients paramount—the true fundamental of great cooking.”

Serves 6 to 8

Roasted rack of veal:

  • 1/2 cup (125g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed but not peeled
  • 3-rib rack of veal, bones frenched, shoulder blade removed and tied, at room temperature
  • sizeable handful medium-to-large red-veined dandelion leaves
  • fleur de sel
  1. Preheat oven to 385°F (195°C).

  2. Melt butter with oil in large heavy-bottomed roasting pan set over low heat; add garlic and veal, bone-side down; brown veal on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes; add dandelion leaves; periodically baste veal, especially the inside of the ribs, until golden brown; season; transfer pan to oven; cook 12 minutes.

  3. Remove veal from oven; rest in warm place 12 minutes, basting meat, especially rib section; turn the rack; return to oven 10 minutes; repeat roasting-and-resting process using 10 minute, 8 minute, and 6 minute intervals, until done; reserve (keep warm).

Green garlic vinaigrette:

  • 3.5 oz. (100g) green garlic, white portion only, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps. (30g) Meyer lemon juice, strained
  • grated Meyer lemon zest
  • kosher salt

Combine garlic and oil in a pan over very low heat; cover with a cartouche; cook until tender (approximately 20 minutes); remove from heat; cool to room temperature; add juice and zest; season; reserve.

Ocean persillade:

“A classic condiment is reimagined with a simple substitution. Here, it’s replacing the chopped parsley with sea lettuce, a common seaweed in our area, for a unique taste. It’s delicious not only with seafood, but also with uncommon pairings, such as cauliflower and even roast lamb.”

Makes 1 3/4 cups (300g)

  • 3 qts. (230g) sea lettuce (laitue de mer or Ulva lactuca), washed well and cut into chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup (40g) salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • 1 cup (150g) white onion, minced
  • 3/4 cup (160g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated with Microplane
  • kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. (15g) Champagne vinegar
  • grated lemon zest
  1. Combine sea lettuce and capers; chop finely; place in large mixing bowl; reserve.

  2. Cook onion in pan with oil over low heat until translucent (approximately 15 minutes); drain onion; reserve oil; add onion and garlic to seaweed mixture; mix well; slowly add some reserved olive oil until mixture comes together without becoming excessively oily; season with salt, vinegar, and zest; reserve.

Assembly:

  • 12 to 16 spring onions
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 30 to 40 baby dandelion leaves
  1. Toss spring onions in oil; cook on plancha using weights to hold onions flat, turning often until evenly charred; reserve.

  2. Carve veal into 6 to 8 large slices; cut roasted garlic cloves into 2 or 3 pieces.

  3. To serve, place a quenelle of ocean persillade off-center on warm plate; position slice of veal opposite quenelle; garnish plates with reserved garlic cloves, dandelion leaves, charred spring onions, and raw baby dandelion leaves. Finish with a drizzle of green garlic vinaigrette.

Chef’s Note: The veal roasting process mimics the benefits of sous-vide, concentrating the flavors without waterlogging the meat.