Posts Tagged ‘veal tenderloin’

The second atelier for Superior Cuisine came up quickly with very little time to plan.  Once again we would make both an entrée and a main course to present to the chef.   The required technical elements were enrobing one of the main proteins in a pastry and presenting a brunoise, or small dice of vegetable, on one of the dishes.

The list of ingredients we were required to use included:

Gilted head sea bream /daurade royale

Cauliflower /chou fleur

Large spinach leaves /grandes feuilles d’épinards

Veal Tenderloin /filet de veau

Brittany artichoke /artichaut Breton

Pearl (spring) onions /botte d’oignnons nouveux

Raw beetroot /beetraves cru

Both Ingrid and I had the last position in our kitchen for presentation of the entrees, but also the first position for presentation of the mains with only 25 minutes between the two.  That meant that literally all the prep had to be done before we plated the entrée otherwise we would not be able to manage our main on time.   Chef Clergue assured us this was the best of all possible positions.  Yikes!

My entrée Sea Bream Filet & Spinach wrapped in phyllo pastry, cauliflower flan & tarragon beurre blanc with crispy spring onions.  Phyllo pastry was on the list of ingredients and being not so expert with wheat, I decided to wrap my fish in filo.  Having never used it before a little internet research ensued and amazingly there are so many videos on how to use phyllo pastry that I had an easy time overcoming any misgivings.  The main issue with phyllo is it dries out rather quickly when exposed to air so it requires a good coating of fat or butter between layers to keep it moist for baking.  The second challenge was ensuring enough moisture was wrung from the spinach so it would not make the pastry soggy.   After watching a couple videos, I was ready to give my recipe a try.

My main course – Veal Grenadin, Crisp Pancetta Rounds, Roasted Beetroot Puree and an Artichoke stuffed with Pancetta and Parsley.   As the atelier progressed, students were working on different elements of their recipes and I began to notice my classmates veal preparations were a touch more intricate than my plan to brown and roast my veal.  I decided if I was going to have a hope of impressing the chef that I would need to make a change.

How would I dress up this veal?  Roll in herbs?  A crust of some sort?  Then it struck me, the artichoke stuffing was a simple mixture of shallot, butter, lemon juice, chopped pancetta and parsley.  Why not stuff the veal instead of the artichoke?  So I did!  I quickly asked Chef Clergue for advice, should I open up the veal and then roll it and truss?  Was this the right approach?   Was there another method?


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Veal with morrelsVeal is meat for a very special occasion given its expense.   In this lesson we paired the veal with an equally expensive morel mushroom crust.   The morel crust couldn’t be simpler, the veal is seasoned and rolled in ground morels, nothing more, but the result is superb!   The flavors of the rich and earthy mushrooms bring sophistication and elegance for such an easy preparation.

The main challenge is ensuring you brown the crusted veal at a low temperature in the sauté pan to ensure you do not to burn the mushroom crust.  Also critical is ensuring the internal temperature is not above 55 C when served or the veal will be dry and overdone.

This is gorgeous recipe and will be gracing my New Year’s table this year.  So simple yet absolutely scrumptious!  Served with a puree of potato and caramelized apple, which complements the veal perfectly.

Pair with Bordeaux or bold Burgundy and raise a glass to the New Year and the good life!


1 Veal Tenderloin 500 to 600 g

20 g dried morel mushrooms

20 g fresh or reconstituted morel mushrooms

Salt and pepper

20 g peanut or canola oil

20 g butter

1 garlic clove, smashed with skin on

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Port Jus

Carrot 50 g, diced mirepoix

Onion 50 g, diced mirepoix

Celery 50 g, diced mirepoix

1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley stem wrapped in green leek leaves)

1 Garlic clove, smashed with skin on

50 ml Ruby port

250 g veal stock


250 g potatoes, peeled and diced large

70 g butter

100 ml cream

1 Royal Gala or sweet red apple, peeled and cut brunoise or small dice



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Place the dried morel mushrooms in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until they are a powder.
  3. Trim the veal removing the connective tissue and fat; reserve trimmings for the sauce.
  4. Tie the veal with kitchen twine at portion size intervals.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the morel powder on a piece of parchment paper.  Roll the prepared veal tenderloin in the mushrooms.
  7. Heat the oil on medium heat; add the butter.
  8. When the butter is melted, add the veal to the pan and gently color on all sides.
  9. Place the garlic and thyme in the pan and put into the oven.  The veal will take approximately 12 to 17 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 52 C depending on the weight of the meat.
  10. At the 8-minute point, baste the veal with the pan juices.  Return to the oven.
  11. At 12 minutes test the internal temperature.  If it has reached 52 to 53 C remove from the oven.
  12. Place the veal on a wire rack set over a baking tray and cover with aluminum.  Rest the meat for 7 to 10 minutes before carving.  The temperature will rise as it rests.  If you like, test the temperature again to ensure it has reached 55 C before carving.
  13. Sauté the fresh morels in a little butter until warm for a garnish.
  14. Cut the veal into portion size pieces and remove the twine.

Port Jus

  1. Heat oil on med high heat.
  2. Add trimmings and brown well.
  3. Remove the trimmings from the pan into a sieve to drain off fat.  Clean the oil from the pan with a paper towel and return to the heat.
  4. Add the vegetables to the pan and cook for one minute.  Cover and take off the heat for 3 minutes.  The moisture from the vegetables will release the brown bits from the bottom of the pan
  5. Return to heat, remove the cover and stir to loosen the brown bits from the trimmings from the bottom of the pan.
  6. After a couple minutes deglaze with ruby port.
  7. When wine has evaporated return the trimmings to the pan.
  8. Add the veal stock and lower heat.
  9. Cook the sauce for 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by 1/3.
  10. Strain the jus from the vegetables and trimmings into a saucepan.  Discard vegetables and trimmings.
  11. Return the jus to the heat and continue to reduce while you cook the veal.

Potato and Apple Puree

  1. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water.
  2. Warm the cream on low heat.
  3. Drain the water and leave the potatoes to dry out for a few minutes in the sieve.
  4. Mill the potatoes through a food mill, ricer or tamis/drum sieve into a bowl containing 50 g of the butter.  Stir to combine with the butter.
  5. Incorporate the cream gradually, and then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Keep warm over a bain marie.
  7. Melt the remaining butter in a sauté pan.
  8. Add the apple pieces and cook until apples are soft and caramelized.
  9. Add the apples to the potato puree and continue to keep warm on the bain marie.

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I love risotto.   It has all kinds of flavors for all seasons.  To me this is an Italian dish through and through, originating in the north of Italy and exported to the world.  Curiously I am finding this lovely comforting dish in the Intermediate curriculum of French cooking at the Cordon Bleu.

Never mind, I am happy to see it there.  Risotto is my old friend and I am happy to see him and I felt a rush of confidence.  My notes can be scant, my demeanor in class relaxed.  The only thing I forgot, this is Cordon Bleu and although I thought I was in my zone there were many more elements to a successful dish than a mere risotto.

The title of the dish we were to create – veal tenderloin cooked pink with creamy risotto.   Straight forward except for the asparagus coulis and trimmed stalks of asparagus, a Duxelles of mushrooms and a Mornay sauce.  What could be easier?

Quite honestly I felt very in control of the elements with the exception of the coulis.  The generosity of the produce was a tad underwhelming leaving each of us with a mere 4 asparagus.  As my goal is to plate a coulis AND asparagus – 4 stalks creates a challenge.  Our practical Chef, Guillaume, suggested using the fibrous ends of the green veg so we all adhered.

The blender whirs and whirs to try and cut through the stringy mess, but to no avail.  I choose to sieve the green mush, but then had little to plate so I relented and mixed it all back together.   The remaining two stalks, delicately prepared, were blanched and then sautéed in butter and olive oil.

The Duxelles, I always enjoy preparing, for I love mushrooms through and through.   Add to the béchamel and voila Mornay Sauce.  A quick sauté of the veal, seasoned to perfection, in delicious unsalted butter with thyme, garlic and laurel leaf for a hint of flavor.

Now my risotto, on the stove, in my sights, but not demanding my attention because I know him so well.  A little taste cries out for salt, pepper but the sad fact that we made it with water forces me to add cream.  Not so bad, but a little chicken stock would have really helped to layer the flavors.


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