Pan-Seared Veal Chops in Red Wine & Portobello Mushroom Sauce

DSCF7214 (640x494)There’s no summer in North America.  Technically, summer started late last month.  However, with torrential rain that befell the country two weeks ago, coupled with frightening lightning and thunderstorm, this strange and severe weather condition created a chain reaction that brought two cities down to its knees; Toronto being one of them. This was the basic reason I was away from blogging. The daily commute to and from work became more difficult as it already was, and I was exhausted to the point of collapsing from work responsibilities. I took refuge to eating out in restaurants for that much awaited peace and quiet after a hard day’s work. It seemed so unlikely to happen in this side of the world, but they do so once so often. Do you remember New York’s Sandy?

Anyway, I was invited to a Filipino BBQ ‘event’ in the suburbs one weekend when these weird weather occurrences were pounding the city and it was a boisterously loud one. Filipino gatherings tend to be a beehive of endless conversations, and these expressions of extreme happiness or overjoy and emotion can be annoying during parties. It was a new house by the way, and buying a house on a mortgage here is a critical step to any immigrant or Canadian (Right Iska?). It’s the epitome of all the hardwork  achieved through all those years of working two jobs and supporting a family as well as the sacrifice of being far away from the motherland.  Going back to the BBQ feast, I had the infamous ‘Isaw’ after so many years. That was classic. My buddy had set aside several (arrived late) and my trip was totally worth it after gorging into those savoury and slimy intestines. I know I can’t prepare nor cook them myself. They tasted like ‘Tapas’ and I missed them as much as I miss Europe.

Grilling is back and although this summer will surely be short-lived this year, I had a chance to plan my meals based on this topic for this month.  The BBQ ribs was actually one of them. This one is more French; going through sauce reductions and stock preparation so typical of French Cuisine. I just had to. These were precious Veal Chops I found in the supermarket and they don’t just come out of the shelves as regularly as steaks or pork chops. Grabbed a couple packs and started thinking like a French thereafter.


  • Veal Chops (Thick Cut)
  • Duck Bones (for the stock)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper
  • Fresh Thyme (finely chopped)
  • Garlic (minced to a paste)
  • Shallots or Red Onion (finely chopped)
  • Red wine (reduced to half)
  • Red wine (for deglazing)
  • Duck Stock (reduced to a cup) or Duck Fat
  • Dijon Mustard or Regular Mustard
  • Portobello Mushrooms (cleaned and diced)

Marinate the Veal Chops with salt & pepper, olive oil , and Thyme overnight.

Pre-heat and season the grill or the grill pan and sear or mark the chops on both sides.  Transfer in a roasting pan and finished them off to medium or medium rare in a pre-heated 350’C oven.  Set aside to rest, tented.

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Saute the shallots or onions and mushrooms on the same pan, and immediately deglaze with red wine. Add in the minced garlic, reduced red wine and duck stock and finish off with the mustard. Add in more freshly chopped Thyme before finishing off the sauce. Adjust consistency with more stock or wine and/or finish off with cream (optional).

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Duck Stock:

Chop the Duck bones and set on the roasting pan with a mirepoix of vegetables. Roast until they turn golden. Put everything in a stock pot with more aromatics and let it boil to simmer for about an hour. Strain in a smaller pot and reduce to a cup.

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