For the longest time, I've celebrated Ribeye Fridays. Well, my week has now become one celebration richer: Protein Thursdays. While heading home from work last week, I swung into to one of my favorite places, Jeradi's Little Store. Besides being a great destination for wine and beer, the Little Store also has a great selection of homemade food, deli meats and market fresh produce. The staff is second to none. Over the last year, they started to carry a select amount of high-end seafood and most recently, meat from Michael's in Cincinnati. When you are getting seafood and meat from purveyors who supply high end restaurants, you know you are getting good stuff. Since the selection changes week to week and covers both sea and land, I know on Thursdays I'm grilling good protein. It just takes a roll of the bones to decide which. Welcome to Protein Thursdays.
So, there I was perusing the handwritten sale list of fresh fish and meat when my eyes drifted down to the display cooler and zeroed in on the most beautiful bone in veal chop I had ever seen. Operation Select Protein…mission accomplished.
I love veal, but have only grilled it a handful of times. Easily, my favorite veal dish in recent memory was the Osso Buco at Piero's in Vegas. Great stuff. My biggest flop? My poor man's Osso Buco that I just had to video.
Less is often more, which is exactly how I approached this chop. Since I do not grill these every day, I was determined to taste the veal and nothing else. I wanted it done simple. Salt and pepper. Nothing else. More, with less.
Simple translates well to vegetables, too. Olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Nothing beats fresh asparagus when lightly seasoned and grilled.
With my chop covered in salt and fresh cracked pepper, I brought the Summit up to direct medium-high. The chop was thick, so in order not to go indirect at all, I decided to pre-heat the grill longer at a slightly "under high" temperature. A long grill pre-heat can make a huge difference in winter grilling. It can also jack your natural gas brill, so be careful!
I grilled my veal like my beef, medium rare, which took about 6-7 minus a side. USDA recommends 145 F, I shot for a 135 F finish, which translate to grill removal at about 125-130 with a 5 minute rest.
In the end, simple worked. And wow, it was quite amazing. Although veal is incredibly healthy, much like a lean cut of meat. It tastes nothing like lean meat. In my typical fashion, I gnawed the bone until it resembled a fairly large toothpick. I could have definitely had two. Maybe next time. Protein Thursdays do come once a week, after all.