Roast Rack of Veal with a Lemon, Caper, and Tarragon Crust

_MG_7967And once again the weekend came and went too quickly but at the very least we were able to share a wonderful Sunday night meal with our neighbours Alex, Jenny, Jake and Emily. What was on the menu? None other than another fist for the Big Green Asian Egg, roast rack of veal with a lemon, caper, and tarragon crust…it a mouthful to say but yields a tummy-full of yum once done!

From a technical perspective, this recipe takes some hard work. It was a multi-step approach but fairly doable if you’re properly organised and get all your prep done one bit at a time.

Start with your ingredients:

  • 1 x 8-rib trimmed veal rack
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/4 medium red onion, roughly chopped (to yield about 1/2 cup)
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 small eggs
  • 3/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon

Rinse your veal rack under cold water then pat dry with kitchen roll/paper towel. Get a little bit of olive oil in your hands and coat the rack on all sides. Liberally season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set it aside (back in the fridge if you’re in a warm country like Singapore) and start your crust.

In a food processor, purée the red onion, garlic, capers, lemon juice, mustard, and eggs. The mixture should be fairly loose and at this point, put it back in the fridge. Then in a separate medium bowl, stir in the breadcrumbs, tarragon, cheese, scallions, and lemon zest. Keep the two bowls separate for now and go set up your grill.

For the grill, set it up for direct heat and stabilise at about 500F (260C.) Get your veal rack and wearing some heat proof gloves, brown each side of the rack. 2-3 minutes per side including the ends. Build up a nice little crust and when done, set the veal aside on a rack. Let the veal cool down to a point where you can handle it with your bare hands. Now, put the veal in a pan, and drench it with the purée covering the veal rack evenly. Don’t worry about the mess, that’s what the pan is for. Now take a lightly oiled v-rack and place the veal meat side up on it. Take the breadcrumb mixture and firmly adhere it to the meat side of the rack as well as the sides. Use the left over purée and crumbs to get an even coating and make it nice and thick.

You’re almost ready to grill so now you add in a plate setter and set up for indirect heat. Adjust your temperature down to 325F (162C) and when ready insert your trust thermo-probe through one side of the rack at the thickest part of the meat. Make sure you’re not touching any bones and ensure the tip is right at the middle of the rack. Close the dome and don’t open the lid until you’ve reached your internal temperature of 135F (57C.) The crust will brown beautifully and the smell will blow you away! The total time is about 90-100 minutes at 325F. I didn’t add any smoke in order to preserve the crust’s unique flavour.

While the veal rack is roasting, go back into the kitchen and prepare your very own homemade rémoulade. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 small egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs white-wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp capers, drained, rinsed, and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp minced fresh tarragon

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper until the mixture becomes velvety smooth. Now very slowly whisk in the olive oil, followed by the vegetable oil. The mixture should be thick and emulsified pretty much like mayonnaise. This takes a lot of effort and your wrist and forearm will get incredibly tired but it’s all well worth the effort. Now add the chives, capers, and tarragon and season with more salt, pepper, or a bit more vinegar to taste. The rémoulade can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two days.

So, before you tuck in, let your veal rack rest for about 10-15 minutes on a cutting board. The temperature will actually rise by another 8-9 degrees (F) and when you cut into the rack with a super sharp knife between the rib bones, you’ll see a perfectly medium rare veal staring you back in the face. Each of your guests gets a monster sized chop of veal. Add some rémoulade either on the side or right on top of the chop.  We served the veal with an amazing roasted beetroot and rocket salad, roasted pumpkin and some corn.
To top it all off, Heather made her legendary chocolate pavlova that was an absolute masterpiece. Honestly, this girl’s got serious talent!  Thanks bubs for an amaze-balls dessert!
Alex, Jenny…thanks for the wine and the great company!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10
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