Although my husbands had many ‘favorite’ meals – this might be his very, very favorite. It’s a very simple recipe, in fact, more technique than recipe. Basically you start with a good veal loin chop, season it with salt and pepper, cook it in a bit of olive oil to medium doneness and voila! Juicy, flavorful – simply wonderful.
However, I usually take one more step. Once I remove the veal chop from the pan, I deglaze the pan with a bit of heavy cream (also known as ‘whipping cream’. Typically just 3 Tbsp. or so for two chops. I swirl the heavy cream in the hot pan and it picks up intensely flavored little brown bits from when the veal cooked (called ‘fond’*). A bit of salt and freshly ground pepper and you have a simple yet decadent sauce for your veal chops.
Let’s talk about technique. Basically you want a nice sear on both sides of the meat. To accomplish this you need to start of with a dry piece of meat, otherwise the veal will steam when when it hits a hot pan, not sear. When you remove the veal loin chops from their package simply pat dry both sides of each chop with paper towel.
When it comes to how long to cook the chop that really depends on thickness. If your chop is 1″ thick or less, cooking each side 4 minutes or so over medium-high heat will provide you with medium done veal chop. If you have a thicker chop, however, there are two ways to finish cooking it. For the inexperienced cook I would finish it off in a 375 F oven for another 5 to 10 minutes depending just how thick your steak is. If you are used to telling the level of doneness of a steak by ‘feeling it’ – after the first side is seared I would flip the chop over, cook on high for a few minutes, and then turn the range to medium-low and cook until its done to your likening. Being able to judge a steak’s level of doneness by feeling its firmness takes a bit of practice but once you get the hang of it you’ll love it. Basically, if the steak is very soft to the touch it is rare. As it firms the level of doneness increases. When it feels like the firm part of your palm right below your thumb – well that’s well done.
One more thing. You’ll want to make this in either an metal or caste iron pan; not a non-stick. The latter are not meant for high-heat cooking unless there is liquid in the pan (doing so will ruin its non-stick surface)
Simple Veal Chop Recipe
- 2 Veal Loin Chops, 1″ thick (if thicker, refer to above directions for cooking)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. heavy cream (aka: whipping cream), optional
- Pat dry the veal chops with paper towel. Then season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (large enough to fit 2 veal chops) over medium-high heat until it shimmers. When it does, add the chops. Cook until side touching the skillet is nicely sear, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over and cook another 4 minutes. Remove to plate.
- Deglaze skillet with heavy cream; swirling the cream in the skillet so it picks up all the little bits in the pan (the sauce should take on a very light brown color), about 30 seconds. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and pour over steaks.
* Fond is a french term that refers to the tiny pieces of meat which have been caramelized and are typically brown in color. These bits of caramelized meat are stuck to the bottom of a skillet after a piece of meat has been cooked. Fond is the base of many classic pan sauces.