Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cooking the Book – My New Orleans – Jalapeno Cheese Grits & Slow-Cooked Veal Grillades

Ok, so there’s a disturbing Besh trend going on as of late. In the past few months, I’ve been to three of his restaurants and now I seem to be attacking his new cookbook, “My New Orleans”. What can I say? The man is a great chef. Now that I have that out of the way, it’s time for Grillades and grits.

However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Remember, this is a Besh recipe, there are rules and protocol to follow, and that means making a special stock, veal stock to be exact.

Besh’s veal stock is essentially the same as his other stock recipes, except 1 pound of veal bones are rubbed with oil and roasted for 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

The portions of vegetables are the same as the others, except three tablespoons of tomato paste are added with the celery, carrots, leeks, and garlic.

To make the stock even richer, a bottle of red wine is added along with the standard 3 quarts of water.

Two hours and a little bit of straining later, I end up with 2 quarts of rich, dark veal stock. Annoyingly there aren’t too many recipes that call for veal stock. So make sure you have room in your freezer.

I’m going to bend the timeline a little bit and skip right to the jalapeno cheese grits.

Since I waited a week to get gulf coast shrimp, I felt like I should only use the best grits. So stone ground grits are used for this recipe, Logan Turnpike Mill specifically.

If you don’t know how to make grits, don’t worry, it’s an easy process. I slowly poured 1 cup of grits into 4 cups of boiling water, making sure to whisk constantly. After that, it’s just reduce the heat to low, cover and cook till done.

In the meantime, I dry roasted a jalapeno until it was nice and dark on the outside.

The skin and seeds were removed and the pepper minced.

What was left of the pepper was added to the pot of grits.

Once the grits were done, the pot was taken off the heat and I was ready to add the rest of the ingredients.

3 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese and ¼ cup grated Edam cheese were folded in.

In just a few turns

I had a pot of delicious jalapeno cheese grits.

Now that I’ve covered both the grits and the veal stock, I can finally move on to the Grillades.

As interesting as it was, I’ll spare everyone the various stages of breaking the veal shoulder into thin cutlets.

The cutlets were then dredged in a mixture of 2 cups flour & 2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices. From there, I fried them in batches in a Dutch oven on high heat with a good ¼ of bacon grease.

I did everything in small batches, just to ensure that each cutlet was getting a near crust and not stewing.

After the cutlets were browned, the heat was reduced to medium-high and 1 diced onion was added to the pot.

Besh seems to be very big on caramelizing the onions. The recipe calls for the onions to be cooked to a mahogany color.

When that color was achieved, I added in the ½ bell pepper diced, 1 celery stalk diced, and 2 cloves of minced garlic.

5 or so minutes later, the veggies looked ready for the next stage.

1 tablespoon of the spiced flour is next in the pot.

With the heat set back on high, 2 cups of canned tomatoes (drained, seeded, and diced) and 2 cups of the veal stock are added to the pot.

Once the pot was back to a boil, it was reduced to medium and it was time for more ingredients. The leaves from 1 sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce round out the bulk of the recipe.

However, I couldn’t forget the veal. I did my best to make sure every cutlet was submerged.

45 minutes later, I had a pot of tender veal Grillades that resisted all attempts to be photographed.

I couldn’t wait to taste the fruits of my labor.

Was it worth all the waiting, time, and effort? Yes, the veal really was sublime and the jalapeno cheese grits have quickly become a house favorite. A really interesting thing in the introduction to this recipe is that Besh says this is a recipe for cheaper cuts of meat. He even goes as far as saying Boston Butts would be a fair substitute. Maybe I’ll try that later on. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to decide which Besh recipe to try next.


Bradley said...

I have found veal stock to be very versatile. I made a batch in August and reduced about half of it down to demi glace. It's been great for steak au poivre and its great for deglazing and building soups and braising liquids.

The Diplomat said...

where did you find your veal bones?

Bradley said...

Yeah i got my bones from P.A.'s...I had to order them but they were in in about two days. They charged me I think 2.99/lb for them which pissed me off because other bloggers in bigger cities are able to get them for free. By the way Andrew this dish sounds amazing.

Bradley said...

Then again I also asked for thirty

Bradley said...

no i wasn't using a Besh recipe. I was just making alot of it to freeze and to have for whenever I needed it. I was annoyed that after letting it reduce for 10 hours I only had about 2.5 quarts. oh bother.