Meat mar­ket

With veal back in vogue thanks to a new breed of savvy Aus­tralian pro­duc­ers, An­thony Puharich and Colin Fass­nidge hero the lean pro­tein in a flavour­ful dish that sings of spring.

delicious - - CONTENTS -

Aus­tralian veal seals the deal.

A Do you like veal, Col? C Yeah, I love it. A You do? For what rea­sons? C Well, you know I’m in­ter­ested in the whole no-waste, nose-to-tail thing.

A Mate, have you been read­ing my notes? Peo­ple don’t un­der­stand veal. Veal is a byprod­uct of the dairy in­dus­try: male calves born into the dairy in­dus­try have no use, so they are gen­er­ally dis­carded af­ter birth.

C Yes, true, but I also don’t think you need to lock a calf in a cage any­more. A Ex­actly, buddy. C They used to be locked in crates. That’s why the meat was white, be­cause they couldn’t move and there was no sun­light.

A They were anaemic. This is rosé veal. This is the more nat­u­ral colour for veal – pink. It’s the most in­cred­i­ble story of an­i­mal hus­bandry. This is about giv­ing the calves a great life – feed­ing them, car­ing for them. I’m very passionate about it.

C Peo­ple will eat spring lamb, but they have trou­ble with a calf. We just need to break down the bar­ri­ers.

A Lamb is any­where be­tween six and 10 or 12 months, and rosé veal is around seven months. There’s no dif­fer­ence. This is about peo­ple un­der­stand­ing good-qual­ity veal, and that you’re us­ing a prod­uct that would other­wise be waste. It’s also a lean, health­ier cut of meat.

C Ex­actly. And here we’re go­ing to roast it, thinly slice it and serve it with a tangy aioli to pair with the sweet­ness of the veal. Then we’ll do crisp pea and po­tato cro­quettes for crunch and tex­ture. A You can take the Ir­ish­man… C You can take the calf out of the box, but you can’t take the Ir­ish­man out of Ire­land!

RARE ROAST VITELLO TONNATO WITH PEA & PO­TATO CRO­QUETTES

SERVES 4 2 tbs olive oil 700g veal back­strap, trimmed, tied at 2cm

in­ter­vals (ask your butcher to do this) 1 cup (300g) aioli 2 tbs finely grated fresh horse­rad­ish Finely grated zest of 1/ 2 a lemon Sun­flower oil, to shal­low-fry

1/4 cup (40g) ca­per­ber­ries 2 tbs ca­pers in vine­gar, drained,

pat­ted dry 1 bunch sage, leaves picked Baby flat-leaf pars­ley leaves, to serve

PEA & PO­TATO CRO­QUETTES

750g de­siree pota­toes, peeled, cut

into 4cm pieces 25g un­salted but­ter, chopped 2 cups (240g) frozen peas,

blanched, re­freshed Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 cup (150g) plain flour 3 eggs, lightly beaten 2 cups (140g) stale bread­crumbs Sun­flower oil, to deep-fry

Pre­heat the oven to 200°C.

For the cro­quettes, boil po­tato in salted wa­ter for 15 min­utes or un­til ten­der. Drain, re­turn to pan and roughly mash with but­ter. Whiz peas, lemon zest and juice in a food pro­ces­sor un­til smooth. Com­bine pea mix­ture with mashed po­tato. With floured hands, roll into 1 tbs balls. Place on a tray and chill for 20 min­utes to slightly firm.

Place flour, egg and bread­crumbs in 3 sep­a­rate bowls. One at a time, dust cro­quettes in flour, dip in egg, let­ting ex­cess drip off, and roll in bread­crumbs. Dip once more in egg, let­ting ex­cess drip off, and roll once more in bread­crumbs. Re­turn to tray and chill un­til needed.

Mean­while, to cook veal, heat olive oil in an oven­proof fry­pan over high heat. Add veal and cook, turn­ing, for 3 min­utes un­til evenly browned. Trans­fer to oven and roast for 17 min­utes for rare, or un­til cooked to your lik­ing. Trans­fer to a plate and rest for 10 min­utes, then thinly slice.

Com­bine aioli, horse­rad­ish and lemon zest in a bowl. Set aside.

Heat 1cm sun­flower oil in a small fry­pan over medium-high heat. In 2 batches, add ca­per­ber­ries and ca­pers, and cook for 2 min­utes or un­til ca­pers are crisp. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon and drain on pa­per towel. Add sage and cook for 20 sec­onds or un­til crisp. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon and drain on pa­per towel, re­serv­ing oil.

To deep-fry cro­quettes, half-fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan with sun­flower oil and re­served ca­per oil, and heat to 180°C (a cube of bread will turn golden in 90 sec­onds when the oil is hot enough). Work­ing in batches, deep-fry cro­quettes, turn­ing half­way, for 11/ 2- 2 min­utes or un­til golden. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon, drain on pa­per towel and scat­ter im­me­di­ately with salt flakes.

To serve, spread horse­rad­ish aioli over plates, top with veal and cro­quettes, and scat­ter with crispy ca­per­ber­ries and ca­pers, fried sage and baby pars­ley.

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