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Baking

Baking

Baking uses prolonged dry heat, normally in an oven, while protecting meat from dry heat.  Meat loafs or whole cuts that contain stuffing and smaller cuts with a coating such as bread crumbs are common for baking.

Baking 1One method of baking known as en croûte (French for “in a crust”), protects the meat from direct heat and seals the natural juices inside.  Another method of protecting meat, is to cook it en papillote (French for “in parchment”). In this method, use baking paper (or aluminium foil) to protect meat while it is being baked.

A delicious veal parmigiana uses the “en croûte” technique and starts with lining up two shallow dishes, one dish with beaten egg, seasoned with salt and pepper, and the other a mixture of breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano. Dip both sides of each veal cutlet in the egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing down so it adheres in an even layer.

Baking 2Heat a thin (¼ inch) layer of vegetable oil in a shallow pan, and cook the cutlets on both sides until golden brown.  Place cutlets in a single layer on a baking dish. Spoon tomato sauce over veal and top with a generous helping of grated Mozzarella or Provolone cheese (for more tenderness, spoon extra sauce smothering cutlets to allow for extra cooking time). Place baking dish in oven preheated to 325 degree F. Bake to allow cheese to melt and cutlet to finish cooking, about 5 minutes or longer if extra sauce was applied for prolonged cooking. Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley if desired.

 

 

Braising

Braising

Braising (from the French word, “braiser”) is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, sear at a high temperature, then finish in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid (which may also add flavor). Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting.

Braising relies on heat, time and moisture to tenderize, making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts such as shanks, blade steaks or eyes of round to name a few.

Braising1A classic braise is done with a relatively whole cut, and the braising liquid will cover two-thirds of the piece in the pan. For braising follow these basic steps: 

First pan-sear to brown its surface and enhance its flavor. Most cuts generally do not produce enough liquid of their own, add a certain amount of cooking liquid that includes an acidic element (e.g., tomatoes, beer, balsamic vinegar, wine), often with stock.

Once seared and liquid is added cover pot and cook at a very low simmer, until meat becomes so tender that it can be “cut” with just the gentlest of pressure. The cooking liquid can be finished to create a your sauce.

Charbroiling

Charbroiling

Charbroiling2Charbroiling is a commonly used cooking device consisting of a series of grates that can be heated using a variety of means. The heat source is almost always beneath the cooking surface – for gas-fired applications this is referred to as an under-fired broiler.

For great tasting Moroccan style char-broiled lamb chops (loin, rack or blade), combine chopped cilantro, fresh spearmint leaves, minced garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt to taste in a large mixing bowl.
Add chops, mix and coat well. For best results allow covered chops to marinade in refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours.
Bring meat to room temperature and place in preheated charbroiler until desired doneness.

Indirect Grilling

Indirect Grilling

Indirect Grilling2Indirect grilling is a barbecue cooking technique, by which placing veal or lamb to the side of the heat source instead of directly over the flame as is more common. Indirect grilling is ideal for cooking whole cuts (ie. rack, striploin, top butt etc.) that would burn if cooked using a direct flame. This method of cooking generates a more moderate temperature (about 275-350 °F) and allows for an easier introduction of wood smoke if desired for flavoring.

Indirect Grilling3For a porcini mushroom rubbed veal rack begin by rubbing extra virgin olive oil over a whole veal frenched rack (6-7 ribs exposed) followed by rubbing a mixture of fine ground dried porcini mushrooms, ground red pepper flakes, kosher salt and ground black pepper evenly patting over rack.
Grill veal over direct heat, turning occasionally until browned all over, approximately 15-20 minutes.  Move veal to indirect heat placing bone side down, turning every 20 minutes or so, until a temperature of 115 degrees F is achieved at center of loin.
Transfer veal rack to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Slice between bones and assess desired doneness, should you prefer a more crisp and charred chop simply return to grill over direct heat 1 minute per side.

Stew

Stews

Stews have been made since ancient times using a combination of solid ingredients that are cooked in liquid at low temperatures allowing flavors to mingle. Stewing is suitable for less tender cuts (ie. shank, cubed rounds and cubed shoulder) that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method, while lean and tender cuts may easily become dry.

Simply combine veal and/or lamb with vegetables and a stew-cooking liquid such as water, wine, beer or stock. Stews are similar to soups, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Generally, stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat. Thickening stews can be done by reduction or by coating veal or lamb with flour before searing.

Stew2White stews, also known as blanquettes or fricassées, are also commonly made with lamb or veal that is blanched, or lightly seared without browning, and cooked in stock. Brown stews are made by first searing the meat well or browning, before a browned mirepoix, stock and wine are added.

Stew3For a traditional Irish stew season flour in a large bowl with the salt and pepper. Dredge lamb cubes in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. In a Dutch oven (thick walled cooking pot), heat oil over medium heat. Brown lamb on all sides, to ensure browning is achieved, work in batches depending on preferred quantity of lamb being used, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl.

Add water to the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened. Return the lamb to the pot. Add chopped tomatoes, beer (or water), garlic, thyme, salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, stirring to break up the tomatoes and dissolve the paste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is almost tender.

Stir in the chopped carrots and parsnips. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until the meat, potatoes and vegetables are tender. Serve the stew garnished with thyme sprigs, if desired and enjoy.

Slow Cooker

Slow Cookers

A slow cooker, also known as a Crock-Pot is a counter top electrical cooking appliance that is used for simmering, which requires maintaining a relatively low temperature (compared to other cooking methods such as baking or boiling).
Place veal or lamb and a liquid (such as water, wine, or stock) in the slow cooker. Some recipes call for pre-heated liquid. The cooker lid is put on and the cooker is switched on. Some cookers automatically switch from cooking to warming (maintaining the temperature at 71–74 °C (160–165 °F) after a fixed time or after the internal temperature of the food, as determined by a probe, reaches a specified value.

Slow Cooker1The heating element heats the contents to a steady temperature in the 79–93 °C (174–199 °F) range. The contents are enclosed by the crock and the lid, and attain an essentially constant temperature. The vapor that is produced at this temperature condenses on the bottom of the lid and returns as liquid.

The liquid transfers heat from the pot walls to its contents, and also distributes flavours. A lid is essential to prevent warm vapour from escaping, taking heat with it and cooling the contents.

Slow Cooker2For delicious slow cooked veal blade roast heat oil in a thick base pan over medium/high heat. Add Veal Blade Roast (2 lbs) and sautè until browned on all sides (approx. 8 min.).

In a separate ceramic cooking pot (or Crock-pot) add chopped potatoes, onions, minced garlic, carrots.

Once veal is browned remove from pan and place in pot nestled within vegetables, season with salt and herbes de provence (a mixture of dried herbs typical of the Provence region of south-east France).
Pour in pan 1/3 cup of wine and 1/3 cup of water to deglaze and transfer to pot.

Cover slow cooker pot with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Season with pepper,serve and enjoy.

Stir Fry

Stir Frying

Stir frying is a Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a metal pan or bowl (traditionally called a wok). The technique originated in China and in recent centuries has spread into other parts of Asia and the West. Many claim that this quick, hot cooking seals in flavors.
Scholars think that wok (or pan) frying may have been used as early as the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. – 220 C.E.) for drying grain, not for cooking, but it was not until the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) that the wok reached its modern shape and allowed quick cooking in hot oil.

Stir Fry 2Stir frying was brought to North America by early Chinese immigrants, and has since been used in non-Asian cuisine. Speed is key when it comes to stri fry cooking therefore veal or lamb should be sliced thinly into strips, include chopped vegetables of choice, add to a preheated pan or wok and cook as quickly as possible at a high temperature.

For a flavourful stir fry combine orange juice, soy sauce and ginger with veal cutlet strips and marinate for approximately 15-30 minutes or upto 2 hrs for intense flavour.
Drain and disgard marinade and preheat pan (wok) with a small amount of oil to coat pan. Cook veal strips quickly until just done and remove.
Add your choice of vegetables (sliced mushrooms, pepper strips, onions, snow peas etc.) and stir fry 2-3 minutes more.
Return veal to pan and heat through. Serve over noodle, rice or couscous.

Saute

Sautéing

Sautéing from the French sauté [sote], in reference to tossing while cooking, is a method of cooking food that uses a small amount of oil in a shallow pan over moderate to high heat. Veal or lamb can be thinly sliced (cutlets/scalopine) to facilitate fast cooking, chops and medallions of striploin or tenderloin are also ideal though tossing while cooking should be limited to turning 1-2 times to achieve desired doneness. The primary mode of heat transfer during sautéing is conduction between the pan and meat being cooked. Veal and lamb that is sautéed is browned while preserving its texture, moisture, and flavor. The sauté is often finished by deglazing the pan’s residue to make a sauce, simply remove meat and add stock or white wine.

Sautéing differs from searing in that searing only browns the surface of the food. Olive oil should not be used to sauté due to its low smoke point. Clarified butter, rapeseed (vegetable) oil and sunflower oil are commonly used for sautéing.

Saute 1In a sauté, all the ingredients are heated at once, and cooked quickly. To facilitate this, the ingredients are rapidly moved around in the pan, either by the use of a utensil, or by repeatedly jerking the pan itself. A sauté pan must be large enough to hold all of the food in one layer, so steam can escape, which keeps the ingredients from stewing and promotes the development of fond (roasty bits at the bottom of the pan). Most pans made specifically as sauté pans have a wide flat base and low sides, to maximize the surface area available for heating. The low sides allow quick evaporation and escape of steam. While skillets typically have flared or rounded sides, sauté pans typically have straight, vertical sides. This keeps the ingredients from escaping as the pan is jerked or stirred.

For an authentic veal marsala  season scallopine with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Preheat pan (skillet), add 2 table spoons of melted butter and 3 table spoons of oil over moderate heat. Once foam subsidies shake off excees flour and add scallopine. Brown for approximately 3 min. per side and transfer from pan to plate.
Pour off excess oils and add ½ cup of marsala and ¼ cup of stock to pan. Bring to a boil while deglazing skillet for approximately 1-2 minutes.
Return veal to pan, cover and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.

To serve return scallopine to a heated platter, add ¼ of stock to the sauce remaining in pan and boil briskly. Once sauce has reduced to a syrup glaze season to taste and pour over scallopine.

lamb_leg_roast

Roasting

Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air envelops the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C (~300 °F) from an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance flavor through caramelization and maillard browning on the surface of the food. Roasting uses indirect, diffused heat (as in an oven), and is suitable for slower cooking of whole cuts of veal or lamb. A roast can take one, two, even three hours to cook—the resulting meat is tender.  Until the late 19th century, roasting by dry heat in an oven was called baking.  Roasting originally meant turning meat on a spit in front of a fire. It is one of the oldest forms of cooking known.

Roasting1For roasting, veal or lamb may be placed on a rack, in a roasting pan or to ensure even application of heat may be rotated on a spit or rotisserie.  If a pan is used, the juice can be retained for use in a gravy. During oven roasting, hot air circulates around the meat, cooking all sides evenly. There are several plans for roasting: low-temperature cooking, high-temperature cooking, and a combination of both. Each method can be suitable, depending on the desired taste and texture preferred.
• A low-temperature oven, 95 °C to 160 °C (200 °F to 325 °F), is best when cooking with larger cuts. This is not technically roasting temperature, but it is called slow-roasting. The benefit of slow-roasting an item is less moisture loss and a more tender product (ideal for veal shoulder roasts, lamb leg roast etc.). More of the collagen is dissolved in slow cooking.  At true roasting temperature of 200 °C (400 °F) or more, the moisture within is lost at a high rate.
• Cooking at high temperatures is beneficial if the cut is tender enough—as in a veal tenderloin, striploin and veal/lamb rack—to be finished cooking before the juices escape. A reason for high temperature roasting is to brown the meat on the outside, similar to browning in a pan before pot roasting or stewing it. Fast cooking gives more variety of flavor, because the outside is brown while the center is much less done.
• The combination method uses high heat just at either the beginning or the end of the cooking process, with most of the cooking at a low temperature. This method produces the golden-brown texture and crust, but maintains more of the moisture than simply cooking at a high temperature, although the product will not be as moist as low-temperature cooking the whole time. Searing and then turning down to low is also beneficial when a dark crust and caramelized flavor is desired for the finished product. Note that searing in no way prevents loss of moisture: moisture loss is simply a function of heat and time.  The outside is brown and the rest is done fairly uniformly.

Roasting2In either case, the meat is removed from heat before it has finished cooking and left to sit for a few minutes, while the inside cooks further from the residual heat content, known as carry over cooking. The objective in any case is to retain as much moisture as possible, while providing the texture and color. So meat is juiciest at about medium rare while the juice is coming out. During roasting, it is ideal to frequently baste on the surface to reduce the loss of moisture by evaporation.

For festive rosemary garlic lamb leg roast preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Sprinkle lamb leg with lemon juice and rub minced garlic and chopped rosemary leaves over lamb. Season with salt and pepper and place in roasting pan. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast to desired doneness (using meat thermometer, 145 degrees F at center of leg for medium rare). Remove lamb from pan and let stand for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Grilling

Grilling

Grilling2Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly. Heat transfer when using a grill is primarily through radiant heat. Heat transfer when using a grill pan or griddle is by direct conduction. When the heat source for grilling comes from above, it is referred as broiling. Direct heat grilling can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C (500 °F) and acquires a distinctive roast aroma and flavor.

For a quick and flavorful summer meal, try grilling veal scallopine, simply brush veal with a mixture of olive oil, salt, cracked pepper and herbs and set on a preheated grill over medium-high heat for one minute per side.  Enjoy as veal on a Kaiser with roasted red peppers or simply slice scallopine into strips and toss over your favorite garden fresh salad.