Crab and Buckwheat Stuffed Veal Chop

Here’s a recipe with no particular source of inspiration other than some traditional Eastern European ingredients — the buckwheat, the potatoes — and techniques — pounding and stuffing the meat. I love surf and turf dishes, and veal’s mild flavor makes it particularly suitable for seafood pairings. The mouth-watering green apple purée goes admirably with veal, crab and potatoes. If you want to complement the chop with a sauce, I would recommend something simple with reduced veal stock, mushrooms and butter.

More and more, crab meat tends to come from South America or Southeast Asia, and warm sea species are a lot less flavorful than their cold sea counterparts. Whenever possible, look for Maine rather than Venezuela. And of course, fresh plastic containers are far superior to cans.

My picture shows a potato knysh as a side, and I’ll have a recipe for it in the near future. You could also serve this dish with potato gratin or deruny.

Stuffed veal chops
Yields 4 servings

2 oz scallion whites, thinly sliced
4 tbsp top quality olive oil
2 oz kasha (roasted buckwheat)
salt
6 oz water
1 oz butter
10  oz fresh crab meat
1/2 tsp piment d’espelette
4 tbsp scallion greens, thinly sliced
4 veal chops, about 3/4 lb each

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the scallion whites in half of the olive oil until translucent. Add the kasha, season with salt, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and butter, cover with a lid, and cook over low heat until the liquid is fully absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Pick the crab meat to remove any cartilage pieces, and place into a bowl. Add in the kasha mixture, the rest of the olive oil, piment d’espelette and scallion greens, then rectify the seasoning and reserve.
  • Place each veal chop between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to a 5″ x 6″ rectangle using a meat pounder. Don’t be afraid to pound directly on the bone, too. Discard the plastic wrap and season with salt. Place some stuffing near the side where the bone is still attached, then roll into a cylinder and tie with butcher’s twine. Do not overfill, even if you end up with some leftover stuffing. Tightly wrap in clean plastic film, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Apple purée
Yields 4 servings

10 oz peeled and cored Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 oz butter
3 oz veal stock
1/4 oz scallion greens, chopped

  • Slice the apples. Brown the butter in a pan over high heat, add the apples, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the veal stock, and simmer over medium heat until almost completely reduced. Stir in the scallions, and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Process in a blender until smooth, then pass through a chinois and reserve.

Assembly
Yields 4 servings

stuffed veal chops
olive oil
apple purée

  • Sauté the veal chops with olive oil in a very hot pan until brown on all sides.  Transfer to a 350 F oven, and cook to desired doneness. Remove the twine, and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Reheat the apple purée in a saucepan over medium heat, and serve with the veal chops.
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