Mustardy Veal

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Veal is not a meat purchased by everyone, and I hope nobody thinks I haven’t a conscience. It’s just that if I actually focused on the whole idea of killing animals for human consumption, I wouldn’t eat meat at all. I of course believe in the most humane procedures in killing animals, but then, I could also argue that killing animals isn’t humane at all. So I really try not to think about it.

This veal was actually at my market today when I was shopping, and it’s something that rarely shows up, much like lamb, so I grabbed it. If this helps, I haven’t actually had veal in years. But I remembered a simple recipe that I used to make ages ago on the grill. It takes minutes to prepare, which made it perfect for when I worked full time.

There are two ingredients in this veal recipe besides the veal – butter and Dijon mustard. That’s it. You simply make a mustard butter, and then let it melt on top of the grilled veal. Easy and fast for summer grilling inside or out!

Veal Scallopini with Mustard Butter

2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Veal scallops, I had 7
Olive oil
Salt
A few grindings of black pepper

First, make the mustard butter. I used twice as much butter as mustard, but this is up to you.

Place the butter and mustard in a small bowl.
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Beat the two until smooth. Then chill in the refrigerator, although this is optional. Another option is to make a roll of butter, much like you do with a compound butter, wrapped in plastic. Then it can simply be sliced after being refrigerated. I just made such a small amount that this wasn’t necessary.

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When you are ready to cook the veal, have it close to room temperature. Then dry it off on paper towels.
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Pour a little olive oil on a dinner plate, place the veal on top, then drizzle a little more oil. Season with salt and pepper.
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The veal will take 2 minutes to cook, so also have your mustard butter soft enough to scoop up. Also have your vegetables hot and ready to eat.

Heat up a grill over high heat. You can use a grill outside as well, but I wouldn’t waste the time it takes to prepare charcoal. These just take so little time it’s also not worth using the charcoal.

Place some of the scallops on the hot grill, being careful not to crowd them.
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Cook for barely a minute, then flip them, and cook for another minute.
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Serve the veal scallops topped with a scoop of the mustard butter, and let it melt away.


As an afterthought, I also sprinkled some chives over the veal. Basil would be good as well.

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This simple veal dish is as delicious as I remember it. Just make sure to not overcook the veal.

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Surf and Turf

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My surf and turf was inspired by a recipe in one of my latest cookbooks entitled Barbecue, by Stéphane Reynaud.. (Info in this post.)

It’s skewered beef and shrimp in a very interesting marinade. At least, it is very unique to me. The photo in his cookbook came out much better than what my skewers look like, but then, he probably had a food stylist! But it’s this photo that intrigued me about the recipe in the first place. In fact, it’s the first recipe I’m using from his book.

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I made three times as much marinade as his recipe called for, because I felt it was necessary. And I also had to make a substitution because I don’t know what “meat extract” is. His “note” claims that Bovril is a good meal extract. What? It sounds interesting, but I’ve never come across it before. So I used demi-glace.

So I’ll never really know what his actual kabobs tasted like, but I can assure you that these, using “my” recipe, came out fabulous. Read ahead and check out this marinade. It’s very interesting!

Surf and Turf

1 pound beef tenderloin or flank or skirt steak*
1 pound shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons ketchup, yep, that’s right**
1 teaspoon beef demi glace
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Coarsely ground pepper

Slice your beef of choice into approximately 1″ pieces only about 1/4″ thin. Then slice the shrimp in half lengthwise. Place both proteins in a medium bowl.
To make the marinade, combine the olive oil, ketchup, demi glace and garlic in a small blender.
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Blend until fairly smooth, then pour over the meat and shrimp. It becomes very orange after blending.
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Toss together gently until evenly distributed, then cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
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The next day, make your skewers by alternating the slices of beef and chicken. Then let them come to room temperature or close to it.
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I love the fresh garlic in this marinade.

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Start your grill of choice. I’m using the electric one because the cooking time is so short. I cooked each kabob about 2 minutes on each of four “sides” at 400 degrees.
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Then I turned off the heat, put the cover on, and let them cook for another 2 minutes. They really smelled good while they were grilling!
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After a little rest, I served the surf and turf with some sautéed greens and steamed corn on the cob. Delicious.

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* I used beef tenderloin because I had an odd-shaped end left over. But flank or skirt steak would both work well because there’s very little cooking involved. You want the meat to take as long (or as little) time to cook as the shrimp.

** Even though I’ve been making my own ketchup, I used commercial ketchup to more closely mimic the author’s recipe.

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verdict: I will definitely use ketchup in more marinades!!! You can’t really tell it’s ketchup, but it probably adds some salt and sugar, as well as tomatoey goodness to the sauce.