There is no meat as delicate as a veal chop. They are usually tender, and very clean and neutral-flavored–not gamey or rich the way pork or lamb can be (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Here, I’m using loin chops, which are a fraction as expensive as rib chops, but potentially much more tender and interesting.
Veal chops can be grilled, but a more delicate way to prepare them is to pan roast them with sage with butter. Believe it or not, this calls for medium to medium-low heat. The only ingredients besides the veal, are sage leaves, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place butter, oil and sage leaves in a broad skillet with flared sides. Turn heat to medium and let butter melt and sage leaves begin to sizzle. Season the chops heavily with salt and pepper on both sides, then slip into the sizzling butter/oil. Keep turning every 2 minutes or so, until they are only slightly springy to the touch–about 10 – 12 minutes. If you want to take their internal temperature, it should be about 140 for medium. Do not cover. Let them rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.
The sage leaves become brown and crispy–use as many as you like–they are excellent in every biteful. If you keep a nice even heat in the skillet, they will not burn. I’m serving the chops with a salad of arugula, fennel and tomatoes dressed with lemon and olive oil (one part lemon to two parts oil). The lemon and veal juices combine on the plate and you’ll want to use a spoon (or piece of bread) to eat whatever liquid remains!
As a first course for this meal, try rice and spinach (spinaci e riso)–tune in tomorrow for that recipe!
Veal Chops with Butter and Sage
2 veal loin chops approx. 1″ thick
2 tbls butter
1 tbl olive oil
12 – 15 sage leaves
Melt butter in skillet with oil and sage leaves on medium heat. Add in chops and turn every 2 minutes for about 10 minutes. Remove and let rest 5 minutes. If you have additional sage leaves, slip them into the hot butter/oil after you remove the chops. Let them sizzle for about 30 seconds, them place them on the chops as a garnish.