Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 20: Sweet Date, Apricot, and Sage Veal Chops

2 pounds small potatoes, such as baby Yukons or red-skinned new potatoes
   Coarse salt
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
   Coarse black pepper
8 dried apricots, cut in half
12 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
   Zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 1 1/2-inch-thick bone-in veal chops
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
   Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the potatoes in a medium sauce pot and cover with water, place the lid on the pot, and place over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the lid, salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes.

In a small sauce pot over medium-high heat combine the wine, chicken stock, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the liquids to a simmer and add the apricots, dates, and orange zest, then turn the heat off and let them steep, covered in the hot liquid.

While the apricots and dates are steeping, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Season the chops with salt, pepper, and the sage. Place the chops in the skillet and sear on both sides to caramelize the chops.

Transfer the chops to a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven to finish, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the meat is firm to the touch but not tough. Remove the chops from the oven and let them rest, covered with a piece of aluminum foil, for a few minutes.

Return the veal chop skillet to the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the shallots with the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the steeped apricots and dates and the liquid and cook until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the parsley and lemon juice to the sauce and taste for seasoning. Turn off the heat.

Drain the potatoes and return to the hot pot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss to coat. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Transfer the chops to dinner plates and pour the sauce over them. Arrange a few potatoes alongside the chops and top liberally with the chopped chives.


So, this meal was a variation on the Sweet Prune and Sage Pork Chops with Potatoes. RR says: "As similar as it is, this meal tastes entirely different from the original. (What a difference a date makes!)" I do agree with her that the sauce is pretty different from the prune sauce, but now I've discovered that I really don't like veal chops. So, if I were to do it again, I would probably combine the recipes and make pork chops with the apricot sauce. I think that would be pretty good.

The only change I made was to change the fresh thyme to dried. I ran out of shallots, so I used an onion in the sauce instead. I couldn't tell much of a difference, but the shallots may have been a little more appropriate in this sauce.

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