Friday, May 10, 2013

Grilled Tuscan-Style Veal Chops with Lemon Gremolata

Moist, tender and enormously flavourful, these Grilled Tuscan-Style Veal Chops are outstanding and the preparation couldn’t be simpler. Marinated for a few hours in an aromatic combination of fresh herbs, bold garlic, tangy lemon juice and freshly grated zest, the veal chops are then grilled on medium-high heat for about 6 minutes per side, and finished with a pungent Italian Gremolata. Traditionally made with parsley, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil, this delicious Italian condiment is fabulous on grilled lamb, pork chops, quail and meaty fish like monkfish, halibut or swordfish or of course, any kind of grilled vegetables. Gremolata always includes lemon peel, but beyond that there's considerable variation — you could include orange zest, fresh mint or even cilantro.

Gremolata with Italian parsley, fresh garlic and lemon zest

Veal is a delicious, lean, nutrient-packed, high-quality protein that's an ideal choice for today’s healthier lifestyle needs. In fact, compared to other meats such as pork, beef and chicken, veal is much leaner and has a very low amount of saturated fat. Ontario produces both milk-fed and grain-fed veal, each with its own unique flavour profile. Milk-fed veal is light pink in colour, which is what I used for this recipe, and is very tender with a subtle taste. Grain-fed veal is a bit darker, also very tender but with a mild beef flavour. In both cases veal tends to absorb the flavours it's cooked with, making it the perfect canvas on which to paint your favourite seasonings and sauces.

Tuscan-Style Veal Chops with Gremolata 
Serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
2 veal chops, each about 1-inch thick

3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk the first six ingredients together in small bowl and mix until blended. Arrange the veal in a glass baking dish, and sprinkle the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Pour the marinade overtop and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Just before grilling the veal chops, stir together the Italian parsley, oil, lemon zest, rosemary and garlic in small bowl and blend until well combined. Preheat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, remove the chops from the marinade and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill the veal about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. For attractive grill marks, rotating the chops 90° after 2 or 3 minutes, before turning them over, and repeating the process. Once cooked to your desired degree of doneness, transfer the chops to a serving platter and sprinkle each with the gremolata. Serve with some sliced lemon, grilled asparagus and maybe a bowl of roasted new potatoes.