Côte de veau forestière, mushroom fricassee and roasted potato rolls

Veal revealed

What is the protein (meat) the most iconic and representative of the French cuisine? Difficult question and there is, obviously, no conclusive or definitive answer.

  • Pork? It is, like in many countries, the protein the most consumed in France. Bacon and ham are surely helping a little bit. Pork is also the main ingredient of a lot of traditional French regional dish: potée (a stew involving different pork cuts, either smoked, cured or natural, Alsace's choucroute...

  • Beef? Boeuf bourguignon, pot-au-feu, filet en croûte are obvious world-wide renown French dishes, and steak frites (steak and fries) is considered by the French philosopher Roland Barthes as the "alimentary sign of Frenchness"

  • Duck? Just mentioning foie gras, magret, confit... should be enough to win the vote...
But I vote for veal!

Of course, pork, beef, duck, and also chicken, lamb, rabbit, offal, etc. would be very arguable choices, but none of them, in my opinion, embodies French cuisine like veal does. 
France is the country with the highest consumption of veal meat per head in the world, more than 7lbs per head, ahead of Italy and its iconic osso bucco. Ftr, the USA consume an average of 0.3lb. per head!
And veal blanquette, paupiettes, grenadins, escalopes, rôtis, ris-de-veau (sweetbread), roulette (the French osso bucco), veau marengo... are some of the staples of the French bistrot or gourmet cuisine...  And, of course, côte de veau...

Veal chop goes very well with crème fraîche and mushrooms, like here in this "veal chop forestière, mushroom fricassee and roasted potato rolls". As a matter of fact, this description is redundant as forestière specifically refers to a dish, veal chop or other proteins, served with mushrooms, roasted potatoes and possibly bacon (lardons, i.e. diced slab bacon).

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

  • 2 veal shops (here, milk fed veal, imported from... France) of around 14 oz each (in fact, it served three of us)
  • 1 lb. of mushrooms, preferably wild mushrooms and depending on availability (here, I used oyster mushrooms and dried porcini)
  • 1 big Russell potato
  • A couple of stems of fresh rosemary (or dry rosemary), thyme
  • 1 tbsp. of crème fraîche (or 2 tbsp. of heavy cream)
  • 1/2 glass of red wine
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Chopped parsley
  • Butter
  • Neutral oil (grape seed)
  • Salt, piment d'Espelette, pepper, pink pepper corns
N.B. You will need three frying pans for this recipe (for the potatoes, for the mushrooms, and for the chops and sauce)  


The potatoes
  • Using a vegetable sheet cutter, make thin slices of potatoes
  • Don't rinse those sheets, and caliber them in rectangle with a small side of around 1"
  • With those rectangles, made a ribbon of around 20" long, overlapping a rectangle with 50% of another rectangle and so forth
  • Roll each ribbon on itself to create potato rolls of 1" high
  • Wrap those rolls in transparent cooking film, and tighten them firmly after removing as much air as possible
  • Cook those rolls in boiling water for around 10 minutes
  • Take them out of the water and let them cool down a while (not to burn your fingers)
  • Remove the film and let them dry a bit
  • Handling them delicately, sauté the rolls in a pan with 2 tbsp. of butter at low-medium (the butter will start to make like a foam), turning them regularly, till they take a nice gold color
  • Reserve in a 200 F oven

The mushrooms
  • Put the mushrooms in a hot pan, with no fat, keeping each categories separate and heat them for around 5 minutes so that they lose their water
  • Recuperate the mushroom water and reserve it
  • Add a tbsp. of oil, 2 tbsp. of butter in the pan and a stem of rosemary, lower the heat to medium-low, and gently sauté the mushrooms till each category is cooked at your satisfaction, slightly crispy outside and soft inside (depending on the mushroom, it will probably take from 10 to 20 minutes)
  • Salt, add chopped parsley and garlic on the mushrooms and reserve in a dish in a 200 F oven
  • Deglaze the pan with the mushroom water to recuperate all the the flavors
The veal chops

  • Get the veal chop out of the fridge 1/2 hour in advance
  • Remove the bones and keep them
  • Season the chops (salt, piment, thyme) and circle them with a cooking twine or in an size-adapted bottomless mold
  • Sear the chops and the bones in a hot pan with 1 tbsp. of oil, around 1 minute on each side or till nicely colored
  • Put on low-medium, add 4 tbsp. of butter and a stem of rosemary, and finish cooking the chops and the bones on each side, for around 8 minutes for a medium rare, basting regularly the butter on the chops
  • Reserve the chops on a grid
The sauce

  • Use the pan in which you cooked the chops, with the bones, and put to high-medium
  • Deglaze with the wine till the alcohol evaporates (you can help the process by flambéing the hot wine)
  • Add the mushroom water and let reduce on medium-low
  • When the sauce thickens and reaches the right texture, take out of the burner, adjust the seasoning and add the crème fraîche or heavy cream

  • Place the mushrooms on the plate (in line or in circle or any other shape)
  • Cut the veal in slices and place them on the mushroom bed
  • Cut in two the rolls, straight- and/or oblique-wise, and dispose them around the veal slices, the grilled side up
  • Spread the sauce around
  • Add some chopped parsley, pink pepper corns...