I confess. I am not the greatest fan of the Grill.
The primal urge to grill every piece of meat I come across in the summer isn’t my idea of perfection. To me, not everything tastes better when it’s emerged from a session with smoke and fire over charcoal. Granted, grilling is an obsession of many men and their wives. It does get the man of the house to help with the cooking all summer long. And it does take the cooking outside and keeps the heat out of the kitchen. And my second confession is this: I think part of my problem with grilling is that I haven’t necessarily grilled the right way.
You can’t just plunk down slabs of meat on a hot fire and expect them to emerge beautifully done.
There is some art and craft here after all. And this recipe was a triumph for me. The veal comes out perfectly cooked with a nice brown coating. The luscious Madeira-infused Morel sauce adds a luxe touch to the dish. And it couldn’t be simpler to make using dried morels, a little butter, and very little heavy cream. It’s a perfect match-up to ripe summer tomatoes and the sweetness of Vidalia Onions.
Here’s what I learned about this Grilling Technique.
Call me a control freak but one of my problems with grilling has always been the lack of control over the temperature. Here the grill is prepared by mounding the charcoal on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side devoid of any charcoal. That way, once the meat is nicely seared, you can move it to the no-charcoal side and continue to cook it until an instant-read thermometer reaches a temperature of 140F (60C) for medium, 160F (70C) for well done. Put the vegetables on the side with the coals and cook them for just two minutes on each side. Here are the recipes.
Grilled Veal Chops with Tomatoes, Onions and Morel Sauce
Perfectly grilled veal chops are topped with a Madeira-laced Morel Cream Sauce and accompanied by lightly grilled tomatoes and onions.
- 4 Veal Chops about 1 ½ inch thick
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 1 large Vidalia onion cut into 4 thick slices
- 2 large ripe Beefsteak Tomato cut into 8 slices
- For the Morel Sauce:
- 1 cup dried Morel Mushrooms
- ¼ cup Madeira
- ¼ cup water
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Step 1 Rinse the morel mushrooms and then soak them in the Madeira and water mixture.
- Step 2 Brush a baking sheet with about half the olive oil. Lay the tomato and onion slices on the pan and season with pepper. Carefully turn them over and pepper the second side. Brush the veal with olive oil and salt and pepper it on both sides.
- Step 3 Prepare a charcoal grill mounding the charcoal on one side of the grill, leaving the other side without charcoal. When the fire is medium-hot (meaning you can hold your hand over the coals for a five-count), put the chops on the cooking grate over the coals. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes a side rotating each at the two-minute mark. Turn over and repeat on the other side. Once the chops are seared, move them to the area of indirect heat. Cover and continue cooking them for 15 minutes for medium.
- Step 4 At the 10-minute mark, put the onions over the coals, cook for 2 minutes, then carefully flip them and sear the other side for 2 minutes. Remove them to the side with the veal chops. Place the tomato slices on the grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove everything from the grill, divvying up the onions and tomatoes on 4 plates and placing a veal chop on top of each. Cover and let rest for five minutes.
- Step 5 Meanwhile, remove the morels from the soaking liquid with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid. Filter the liquid through a coffee filter. In a small saucepan, combine the morels, the liquid, and the butter and bring to a boil. Add the heavy cream and reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Spoon the sauce over each veal chop and serve. Serves 4.