For all of you carnivorous, meat-loving cavemen (and women), this is for you! I’m excited to say, it’s for me, too. For dinner, tonight! I first made these veal chops for my husband’s birthday — in April. I had planned to do a blog about it then, but it was his birthday and it just didn’t feel right denying him the main course, while I primped and fussed over his plate — taking endless pictures for just a few good ones to post here.
So I waited. Biding my time for another opportunity to share this indulgence with you. Then, serendipity! I received an opportunity to partner with a client — creating a recipe for them and featuring it on my blog. First, I needed to know about their products. The agent and patron were from Australia. I was envisioning marmite or vegemite. Um, that’s unavailable here. Turns out, they sell barbecue grills and accessories. Sweet!
Unfortunately, they wouldn’t ship a new grill stateside for me to test the equipment, but I have faith. Their lineup of grills (including Weber), smokers and accessories is extensive and I’m in love with this little Ziegler & Brown model.
So I turned to my trusty Weber and my grill master (Scott) and got cooking. I was giddy at the thought of making this dish because it is so freaking good! Veal chops are pricey, so when you’re cooking with them, you want a recipe that will deliver every time. This is it!
There are two keys to this dish. First, give the chops enough time to marinate in the herb rub — at least 6-8 hours or even overnight. The herbs, garlic and lemon zest infuse the meat with flavor.
Second, is this dry-smoke grilling technique which Scott swears by for delicate veal chops. Using dry wood chips instead of wet, creates a light smoke that just kisses the veal without dousing it in heavy smoke flavor. Sublime.
I like to serve this with a tangy tomato vinaigrette. It’s simple to make and can be prepped a few hours ahead of time, just add the chopped herbs at the last-minute so they don’t wilt. Other tasty sides for this might include grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes, or peas with mushrooms.
I’m happy to have partnered with Barbeques Galore for this post and look forward to visiting one of their many locations the next time I’m Down-under!
herb crusted veal chops
- 2 pounds veal chops I used rib chops, about 1-1 1/2" thick
- 4 cloves garlic about 2 tablespoons, minced
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
For the tomato vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 shallot minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red grape tomatoes quartered lengthwise
- 1 cup yellow grape tomatoes quartered lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh italian parsley
- 2 cups wood chips preferably cherry, apple or hickory wood
- gas grill
- grill tongs
Prepare the chops
Combine garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, mint, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss with your fingers to evenly distribute ingredients. Place veal chops on a baking pan. Drizzle half of the olive oil over the chops. Sprinkle chops with half of the herb mixture. Press the herbs into the meat with your fingers, making sure they coat the chops. Turn chops over and repeat with remaining oil and herb mixture. Cover with cellophane and refrigerate for six hours or overnight.
For the tomato vinaigrette
In a medium bowl, combine the sherry wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, shallot, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to four. The tomatoes will give up their liquid and combine with the vinaigrette.
Just before serving add the parsley and tarragon and stir to combine.
To grill the chops
Half an hour before cooking, remove the veal from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
Fill a smoker box with wood chips, or create your own using the instructions below*.
Place wood chips directly on gas burner (beneath the grates) on one side of the grill. Preheat the grill to high heat (about 450 degrees).
When chips begin to smoke, add the veal to the opposite side of the grill from the wood chips, but still over direct heat. Grill for 5-6 minutes per side for medium doneness, turning with tongs halfway through. (For nice crosshatch marks, rotate the chops 90 degrees after 3 minutes of cooking on each side). Transfer chops to a platter and let rest for 3 minutes.
To serve, spoon tomato vinaigrette onto each plate and top with a veal chop. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes*Create a pouch with tin foil. Lay the foil flat on a counter top. Mound one cup of chips in the center. Fold the the top and bottom of the foil together to seal. Fold over each of the sides to seal them. Poke several holes in the top and bottom of the foil with a sharp knife.
**You can skip the smoke and simply grill these chops if you're reticent about the technique, but it's easy to do and delicious!
Disclaimer: I partnered with Barbeques Galore for this post and I received a stipend for my participation. The writing, opinions, thoughts and comments are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support Garlic + Zest!