Monday, April 28, 2008

Veal Brisket with Vietnamese Spices

I'm doing a little recipe development for my veal supplier using brisket, a cut that's unfamiliar to customers and chefs alike. My inspiration for this recipe is Pho Hanoi, awesome rice noodle and beef soup from North Vietnam. I've recently commented how much I like soup and I was craving a big bowl of this soup when I was ready to start cooking the briskets.

Customer reception was uniformly positive, one customer stating, "That may have been the best veal I ever had."

This is a recipe for chefs; you'll want to scale this down for home use and no doubt, you'll need to substitute beef brisket for veal, unless you have a really good butcher shop. Also, the techniques and presentation are for restaurants: you can either mimic them or not as you see fit.

Veal Brisket with Vietnamese Spices

For 20-24 portions:
4 Le Québécois veal point end briskets (about 16 pounds)
vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 bunch green onions
1/2 bunch cilantro, with roots if possible
1 yellow onion, sliced
4 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped
16 star anise pods
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
3 inch section ginger, sliced
2 Thai chiles

1. Heat a braising pan over high flame, film with vegetable oil, and sear hard both sides of each brisket, being careful not to burn the fond.

2. Remove briskets from pan and pour off oil.

3. Add sugar to pan and cook to light caramel.

4. Deglaze with soy sauce and a quart of water.

5. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and place the briskets over.

6. Add water to come about half way up the briskets.

7. Cover and braise until tender, 4-6 hours.

8. Remove meat to a hotel pan and chill.

9. Pass the stock through a chinois and defat. Reserve stock for service.

20-24 large cipollini onions, roasted
60-72 green onions, cleaned and trimmed at about 6-8 inches long
hoisin sauce, in a squeeze bottle
star anise pods
reserved stock

1. Slice a portion of veal (three slices about 3/8" thick, about 8 ounces) across the grain.

2. Reheat 4 ounces of reserved stock in a sauté pan.

3. Add three green onions, a cipollino, a squirt of hoisin sauce, and the veal to the stock.

4. Depending on the saltiness of the stock, lightly season the veal.

5. Finish in a hot oven, turning the veal once, until the green onions are cooked and everything is hot.

6. Reduce the stock over high flame as desired.

Plate Up
1. Fan the three slices of veal in the well of a large soup plate.

2. Garnish the top of the fan with the cipollino.

3. Drape the green onions over.

4. Place a whole star anise pod on top of the cipollino.

5. Broth over all.

6. Zigzag with hoisin.

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