Saturday, January 30, 2016

Foie de Veau Bourguignonne à l'oignon meule de foin

     Veal Liver en Burgundy Sauce with Haystack Onions!
     Beef Tips Bourguignonne is a traditional recipe that requires specific garnishes.  The word "Bourguignonne" can also be used to describe a sauce.  Sauce Bourguignonne is a dark brown sauce that is made with Espagnole, Glace Viande or Demi Glace and French Burgundy AOC Wine.
     I used a French Burgundy Region AOC Pinot Noir to flavor the Sauce Bourguignonne in today's recipe.  Back when I cooked the recipe as a photo example, I was working in Chicago.  In my neighborhood there was an import wine liquidation shop, so I was purchasing great French wine for $2 to $3 per bottle.  Not only did I get a chance to sample a wide variety of French wine for a very low price, I was adding French wine to every recipe in sight!

     Food that is made with French wine may exude class and prestige, but this is not the only thing that counts.  It is important for a chef to research each French wine sample, in order to gain information and insight about the wine vintage, the estate, regional cultural traditions and any culinary history associated with the wine.
     Just by doing a little bit of research on a bottle of French wine that will be used for cooking, a chef can gather enough information to create a recipe that has a theme that accurately represents the origin of the wine.  A chef might even stumble across an old forgotten traditional recipe that is no longer in the limelight.

     Traditionally, veal liver is more tender than calves liver and it has a milder flavor.  When no veal liver is available, calves liver will do.  In this modern age, "white veal" is no longer en vogue because of ethical reasons.  Most veal in America now is actually an ordinary young calf, so the color of the meat ranges from pink to pale red.  This means that in America, there virtually is no difference between modern veal liver and calves liver, other than the price.
     Veal liver (or calves liver) can be cooked to any finish temperature that is preferred.  Veal liver does not have to be cooked well done like shoe leather!  Veal liver is best when it is cooked to about a  medium finish temperature range or till it is still reddish pink in the middle.

     Onions straws, crispy onions and haystack onions are all the same thing.  They add flavor and crunch to whatever they are served with.  Liver is almost always served with sautéed onions or caramelized julienne onions.  Crispy Haystack Onions adds some excitement to the same old liver & onions entrée!
     Glace Viandé:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Glacé Viande

     Crispy Onions (Onion Straws): 
     This recipe yields enough crispy onions to garnish several entrées.  
     • Any extra onion straws can be served as a snack or used in other recipes.  Onion Straws can be kept at room temperature for 4 hours.  
     • Onion straws, haystack onions and crispy onions are all the same thing.  
     • Crispy onions are very easy to make, but it is easy to overcook and burn the thin crispy onions.  Only small amounts of crispy onions should be fried at a time to prevent dangerous hot oil foaming.    
     Step 1:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Step 2:  Cut 1 medium size vidalia onion into paper thin sliced rings.  (The onion rings must be less than 1/16" thick.)
     Step 3:  Place the thin onion slices in a mixing bowl and separate them into rings.
     Add 2 to 3 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Let the onions sweat from the salt for about 5 minutes.
     Step 4:  Add enough flour to coat the onion rings.  (About 1 cup.)
     Toss the thin onion rings and flour together, so the onions are evenly coated.
     Step 5:  Place the coated onions in a medium mesh strainer over a mixing bowl.
     Gently shake the strainer to remove the excess flour.
     Step 6:  Deep fry small batches of the coated onions at a time to prevent excessive oil foaming.
     Poke the crispy onions with a fryer net as they fry, to prevent the crispy onions from sticking together.
     Fry till the onions are a crispy golden color.  (This only takes a minute or two.)
     Step 7:  Use a fryer net to remove the crispy onions from the hot oil.  Place them on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Keep the crispy onions warm on a stove top.
     *The frying oil can be saved if the heat is turned off immediately after the frying is done.  The oil must be filtered.  The only problem is that anything else that is fried in the used oil will taste like onions!

     Foie de Veau Bourguignonne:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     The flour coating on the veal liver will help to bind and thicken the sauce.  
     Step 1:  Dredge two thin slices of veal liver in flour.  (An 8 ounce portion is good.)
     Season the liver with sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add the floured veal liver.
     Add 1 whole garlic clove.
     Sauté the liver cutlets on both sides, till they are almost cooked to the desired finish temperature.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the liver slices on a platter and keep the liver warm on a stove top.
     Step 4:  Pour the excess grease out of the sauté pan.
     Leave the whole garlic clove in the pan.
     Step 5:  Return the pan to medium heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of French Burgundy region dry red wine.  (A Burgundy AOC Pinot Noir is a good choice.)
     Add 1 1/2 ounces of Cassis Liquor.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
     Add 2 pinches of thyme.
     Deglaze the pan.  Use a whisk to scrape the brown bits (suc) that is stuck to the bottom of pan.
     Step 6:  Simmer and reduce till the wine is a very thin syrup consistency.
     Step 7:  Add 1/2 cup of rich beef stock.
     Add 3 tablespoons of Glace Viande.
     Return the liver pieces to the pan.
     Step 8:  Rapidly simmer and reduce till the sauce is thin consistency that can glaze a spoon.
     Step 9:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of chilled unsalted butter to the sauce, while gently swirling the pan in a circular motion, till the butter combines with the sauce.  (monte au beurre)

     Foie de Veau Bourguignonne à l'oignon meule de foin:
     Step 1:  Place the finished liver slices on the front half of a plate.
     Step 2:  Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl.
     Spoon a generous amount of the Bourguignonne Sauce over the liver and onto the plate.
     Step 3:  Mound the crispy onions on top of the liver, so they resemble a small haystack.
     Step 4:  Garnish the plate with a vegetable and potato of your choice.
     *The vegetables in the photo are buttered brussel sprout, sautéed portobello mushroom and a turned roasted potato half.

     This is a delicious liver entrée!  If you like veal liver, this recipe is a must to try!

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