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    Posts Tagged ‘Veal’

    Ragu alla Bolognese

    One of my all time favorite sauces for pasta is a rich bolognese. Originated in Bologna, Italy the traditional version incorporates beef with pancetta and according to Accademia Italiana della Cucina there is an official recipe that should be followed. My version however kicks it up a bit by mingling beef, veal and pork which to me creates a distinct taste and texture.

    One of basic items used is a basic battuto or you may have heard it called sofrito which is a simple combination of onion, carrot and celery, not unlike the French Mirepoix it’s used to give a sweet underlying flavor.

    As with some of my other recipes this one is great to make a large batch as it freezes well and can be used in a lasagna or as a gravy for pasta such as tagliatelle or rigatoni.

    You will need:

    Beef Chuck — One pound, ground to medium in a food processor, you can purchase pre-ground but I find the texture too smooth.
    Pork Shoulder — One pound, ground to medium in a food processor, again you can purchase pre-ground.
    Veal Shoulder — One pound, ground to medium or pre-ground. Alternatively you can use ground turkey
    Onion — One large sweet or about one cup, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia
    Carrot — Two large or about one cup
    Celery — three stalks or about one cup
    Garlic — Two cloves
    Tomato Paste — four TBSP
    White Wine — use a good dry such as Chardonnay, two cups
    Whole Milk &#151 Two cups
    Dried Oregano &#151 One TBSP
    Olive Oil &#151 Two TBSP
    Sea Salt/Pepper — Two tsp each

    Rough chop the onion, carrot and celery, place in a food processor and grind to a fine dice, set aside. In a large bowl place the beef, pork and veal/turkey and mix until well combined. Dice the pancetta to about ⅛” dice, set aside.

    Heat a sauté pan large enough to hold all of the protein to medium high add the olive oil. Sauté the meat(s) until most of the pink is gone. Remove the meat from the pan and strain out all of the juice left, set aside. In the same pan add the pancetta and sauté until crisp then add the battuto and sauté until translucent.

    If there isn’t enough fat left from the pancetta add a little olive oil. Make an opening in the center of the pan and add the crushed garlic, sauté until the garlic is just softened. Stir well to combine, make an opening in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste, sauté until it loosens up a bit and then stir all to combine. Return the meat to the pan, add the oregano and mix well, sauté until warmed through. Spread the meat out into a level layer and add the white wine. Cook through until the wine is dissipated add the milk and cook until most of the milk is gone. If there isn’t enough liquid in the sauce you can adjust with some pasta water.

    Serve immediately reserving some to cool and freeze for another day. Enjoy!

    Chicken Saltimbocca*

    Chicken Saltimbocca

    I took the classic Veal Saltimbocca recipe and adapted it for chicken. Unlike other Saltimbocca preparations I finely diced the sage and put it between the chicken breast and the prosciutto. Make sure that the chicken breast is butterflied and pounded to approximately 1/4″ or it will be undercooked.

    You will need:
    Boneless, skinless chicken breast (1 per person)
    Prosciutto (one or two thin slices per chicken breast)
    Fresh Sage
    Unsalted butter
    Olive Oil
    Dry white wine ( I used an unoaked chardonnay)
    Tomato Paste
    Salt & Pepper
    Flour

    Preparation:
    Place chicken breast flat side down on a clean cutting board. With a sharp boning knife carefully butterfly the breast at it’s thickest part. Place chicken breast between two lightly oiled sheets of plastic wrap and pound until it is approximately 1/4″ thick, repeat with all breasts being used. Finally chop fresh sage, chop enough to dust all breasts. The amount of sage used depends on your particular taste but beware that you can overpower the chicken if you use too much. Lightly dust the breast with flour shaking off excess flour. Sprinkle chopped sage over one side of the breast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place prosciutto slices over chopped sage (use enough to completely cover chicken breast.

    In a sauté pan large enough to hold all the breasts heat butter and olive oil. When the oil/butter starts to foam gently place chicken, prosciutto side down, into sauté pan. Sear for approximately five minutes or until you notice a change in color of the chicken around the edges. Turn chicken over and sear on second side for another five minutes. Remove chicken from pan and hold, covered on a warm plate.

    Pour off any excess fat from pan and add white wine to deglaze (use about one quarter cup of white per chicken breast). Put one table spoon of tomato paste/chicken breast and swirl/stir until tomato paste dissolves and colors the wine. Drop two or three tablespoons of cold butter into wine/tomato paste combination. This procedure is called mounting the sauce. When butter is completely dissolved return chicken and any juices to the pan. Heat thoroughly (about 5 minutes). If your chicken breast is thicker than 1/4″ it will take a little longer for the chicken to cook through. You can use a meat thermometer (it should read no less than 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I serve this with thin spaghetti with olive oil and garlic.

    *Alternately you can use veal instead of chicken. Ask your butcher for veal for scallopini and follow recipe.

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