Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Foie de veau a l'anglaise

     English Style Veal Liver The Classic French Way!
     Foie de veau a l'anglaise is an exceptionally nice veal liver recipe.  There is no similarity when comparing today's recipe to the old standard Liver and Onions entrée.  The classic French interpretation of English style veal liver makes use of a simple pork lardon (bacon), lemon and parsley butter flavor combination.  The lardons add a rich savory flavor that goes well with liver, while the lemon makes the sautéed liver light on the palate.  The high proportion of parsley in the butter sauce mellows the flavor and it has a medicinal effect.  Parsley actually benefits those who eat a meat rich diet, because it helps to alleviate gout symptoms.    
     I have cooked Shad Roe using this same l'anglaise preparation back when I was a sauté chef and saucier at an exclusive Florida yacht club, but never calves liver.  Oddly enough, the thought never occurred to me, even though I prepared 1 or 2 whole veal liver per week for two years.  For some reason I never thought that a lemon parsley butter sauce was meant for dark meats or offal.
     Recently while browsing through some old French cook books from the early 1900's, I found out that the l'anglaise preparation does apply to liver too, so I gave it a try.  The result was a flavor contrast that was so interesting and appealing, that it would even please guests that prefer to not eat liver at all, because of poorly prepared liver entrée experiences in the past.  The lemony parsley butter sauce does not mask the flavor of liver, but it does tame the rich flavor.    
     Classic White Veal is taboo in modern times due to ethical reasons.  Modern veal is basically a young calf that is treated humanely, so the meat is usually a reddish pink color instead of a pale pink color.  There also is very little difference between veal liver and calves liver in modern times.  Therefore, if no veal liver is available at the butcher shop or food market, then calves liver is fine for today's recipe.  If the strong flavor of beef liver is preferred, then by all means, use beef liver!  I am sure that the l'anglaise preparation will even tame the strong flavor of beef liver to an extent.
     Pomme de terre Rösti (Rösti Potato) was popular in French fine dining restaurants in the 1990's.  Rösti are a highly seasoned Swiss potato fritter that is usually prepared like a rustic potato pancake.  I used to make Potato Rösti everyday for just one lamb entrée on the menu at a Michelin rated French restaurant, when refined French comfort food was popular shortly after the events of 9/11.  Rösti is usually served for breakfast in Switzerland, but it is also a nice accompaniment for rich tasting meat or sausage.  A petite portion of Rösti accompanies today's offal recipe.

     Potato Rösti:
     This recipe yields 1 large Rösti that can be sliced into 4 to 6 petite portions!
     The potato mixture must be cooked shortly after grating or it will oxidize and discolor.  Soaking the grated potato in water to reduce oxidation will remove the starch that is needed to hold the Rösti together, so do not soak the grated potato!  Blanching the potato before grating is the best solution.    
     Step 1:  Place a sauce pot of water over medium high heat.
     Bring the water to a boil.
     Step 2:  Select a large 10 ounce russet potato.
     Peel the potato.
     Place the potato in the pot of boiling water.
     Blanch the potato for 4 or 5 minutes, so the surface is still firm and the center just starts to heat up.
     Step 3:  Remove the potato from the hot water.
     Let the potato cool till it can be handled with bare hands.
     Step 4:  Grate the hard blanched potato into a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion.
     Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 2 pinches of Herbs de Provence.
     Add 2 pinches of minced Italian Parsley
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Step 5:  Heat an 8" wide non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add the Potato Rösti mixture.
     Use a spatula to flatten the grated potatoes and even the edges, so it looks like a potato pancake that is about 1/2" thick.  (The height will reduce to about 3/8" after cooking.)
     Step 6:  Sauté till the bottom half becomes slightly crispy and firm, while occasionally gently shaking the pan to prevent sticking.
     Step 7:  Flip the Rösti.
     *Flip the Rösti just like flipping eggs.  If the Rösti is damaged or it falls apart, it is okay.  Just use a spatula to pack the Rösti back into a pancake shape!
     Briefly sauté the second side of the Rösti for 30 seconds.
     Step 8:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the pan in a 350ºF oven.
     Bake the Rösti till the potato is fully cooked and the surface is a golden brown color.
     Step 9:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Keep the Rösti warm on a stove top.
     *Just before serving, slide the Rösti onto a cutting board and cut it into pie shaped portions.  Use a spatula to transfer a Rösti portion onto a plate.     

     This recipe yields 1 garnish portion.
     Step 1:  Cut a piece of salt pork into diced cube shaped lardons.  (About 1/4 cup is needed)
     Soak the diced salt pork in ice cold water for 20 minutes, to leach out some of the salt.
     Drain off the water.
     Step 2:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
     Add the diced salt pork.
     Gently sauté till the the grease renders and the lardons are crispy golden brown.
     Step 3:  Use a slotted spoon to remove the lardons from the pan and set them aside in a container.
     Keep the lardons warm on a stove top.
     Step 4:  Place the lardon grease from the pan into a separate container and set it aside.  
     *The salt pork grease will be used to cook the calves liver later in the recipe.

     Foie de veau a l'anglaise: 
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Cut 4 equal size veal liver slices that are about 1/4" thick and weigh 3 to 4 ounces apiece.
     Dredge the calves liver slices in flour.
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved salt pork lardon grease.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Place the floured calves liver pieces side by side in the hot rendered grease and butter.
     Lightly season with white pepper.  (Salt may not be necessary, because salt pork grease was used.)
     Sauté till the liver is lightly browned on both sides and the liver is cooked to the desired finish temperature.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the veal liver slices on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Keep the liver warm on a stove top till the sauce is made.
     Step 4:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
     Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of finely minced shallot.
     Sauté till the shallot turns clear in color.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of finely minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Stir till the parsley wilts.  (This only takes a few seconds!)
     Step 6:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Add 2 teaspoons of chilled unsalted butter while stirring, to finish the butter sauce.
     Pour the sauce into a ceramic cup.
     Keep the sauce warm on a stove top.

     Step 1:  Overlap the liver slices across the front half of a plate.
     Place 1 thin half lemon slice on each piece of liver.
     Step 2:  Spoon a generous portion of the parsley lemon butter sauce over the liver slices and onto the plate.
     Sprinkle the reserved lardons over the liver.
     Step 3:  Place a petite portion of Potato Rösti on the back half of the plate.
     Serve with vegetables of your choice.
     *The vegetables in the photos are Braised Brussel Sprouts and Sautéed Portobello Mushroom Quarters.

     Classic Foie de veau a l'anglaise looks as good as it tastes!

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