I would really love to have made this recipe with morels but I couldn’t even find the dried ones here in Dublin last week never mind fresh so I had to make do with substituting chanterelles and porcini instead. The dried porcini sauce was actually very easy to prepare yet intensely flavoured even though it was just a standard cream reduction flavoured with the soaking water of the mushrooms (which is where most of the flavour resides after rehydration anyway).
For the meat element, I’d noticed recently that Marks & Spencers now stock different cuts of rose veal, both the rump and the fillet, in addition to the usual escallops. It’s quite expensive, twelve euro for two small fillets, but hopefully the price will come down if the offering becomes more popular.
If you’re squeamish about any type of veal, even this high welfare variety, it’s worth remembering that these animals are a by-product of the dairy industry and would otherwise be shot at birth or even worse exported to European countries with few regulations governing their treatment. As someone who regularly eats dairy, I am complicit in those two horrible fates if I choose not to buy veal.
The rest of the dish is pretty straightforward: potatoes braised in ludicrous amounts of butter are always going to taste great and it was good to find a use for some wild garlic my dad had picked up for me a few days previously (even if he did commit the sin of pulling the plant up by the root). As you’ll notice from the picture below, I forgot to garnish the plate with the wild garlic flowers but aesthetics aside it’s not going to make much difference.
For the potato fondant
2 large potatoes, peeled
2 sprigs thyme
75g chicken stock
For the veal
4 125g rose veal fillet steaks
Grape seed oil
For the porcini sauce
25g dried porcini mushrooms
50g shallots, finely diced
200ml double cream
1ml fish sauce
1ml sherry vinegar
For the asparagus & wild garlic
8 thick asparagus tips, peeled
8 wild garlic plants
Wild garlic flowers
For the chanterelles
10ml grape seed oil
50g chanterelles, thoroughly washed
- For the potato fondant, use a pastry cutter to cut a two 5cm barrels out of both potatoes.
- Over a medium heat, melt the butter in a small sauce pan and when it begins to foam, add the potatoes.
- Lower the heat, and cook the potatoes for 7-8 minutes until nicely coloured on the bottom.
- Flip the potato and repeat step three to brown the other side. Be careful not to burn the butter.
- Add the stock (the butter may bubble and splatter a bit) and thyme and then cover the pan with a tight lid.
- Leave the potatoes to cook through for around 45-60 minutes until tender. They are done when a skewer easily pass through their centres. You can place them in the oven a low temperature to keep warm.
- For the veal, lightly season the meat and seal in a vacuum bag.
- Cook in a temperature controlled water bath at 55.5°C for 1 hour (this depends on thickness so check the Baldwin tables for a precise time).
- For the porcini sauce, soak the mushrooms in around 200ml of warm water for 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter over a medium heat and when foaming add the shallots.
- Cook the shallots for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine and allow most of the liquid to evaporate.
- Strain the mushrooms through a fine sieve and add the mushroom water to the pan.
- Add the cream and fish sauce and simmer the sauce until reduced by two thirds, around 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and add the vinegar.
- Adjust the seasoning if required and keep warm.
- For the vegetables, fill a bowl with iced water.
- Seal the asparagus tips in a vacuum bag.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the asparagus.
- Cook until crisp but tender, around 2 minutes.
- Remove from the pot and plunge the vacpack into the iced water.
- Blanch the wild garlic for thirty seconds and plunge into the iced water.
- For the chanterelles, heat a frying pan over a high heat and when hot pour in the grape seed oil.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender, around 3-4 minutes. Reserve.
- Place a frying pan over a high heat and leave to get very hot, around 4-5 minutes.
- Take the veal from the water bath and remove it from the vacuum pack.
- Pat the meat dry and season with more salt.
- Add some grape seed oil to the pan and immediate add the steaks to the pan.
- Fry on each side for 15-30 seconds until well browned.
- Remove the asparagus from the vacuum bag and add to the mushrooms along with the butter.
- Sauté over a low heat until the reheated and glazed with the butter and then add the wild garlic.
- To plate, lay two of the wild garlic plants lengthways across the plate, place the veal and potato on top of the leaves of the garlic; lay two spears of asparagus towards the end of the garlic stalk; sprinkle the mushrooms over the asparagus; drizzle the porcini sauce over the meat and garnish with the wild garlic flowers.