Friday, August 5, 2016

Italian Veal and Sweet Pepper Sandwich

     A Tasty Italian Style Sandwich! 
     Throughout my career, most of my restaurant jobs were sauté chef and saucier duties.  Fine dining sauté chefs are usually required to butcher and fabricate veal leg meat for the sauté station.  For an average week in a busy fine restaurant, it is necessary to butcher three or four veal legs.  That is a lot of veal cutlets and escallops!  Not to mention the stew meat and the scraps that are turned into ground veal.
     I am extremely fast at breaking down a whole veal leg into clean sections.  It takes less than 25 minutes for me to remove the silver floss, bones and section a veal leg.  Fast and accurate is the only way to butcher veal.  Veal is expensive, so the waste while trimming sections and cutting portions must be kept to a minimum.  Pounding the veal portions thin and flat with a mallet must be done carefully, because the tender veal cutlets are easily damaged.  
     I used three or four razor sharp boning knives and two sharp 12" chef knives to cut the veal quickly.  When one knife became dull and started to drag, I switched to the next sharp knife.  During my break, I sharpened and honed my set of boning knives and chef knives before cleaning and portioning beef tenderloins for the dinner business.  
     I learned how to butcher meats from a very highly skilled butcher from Milwaukee.  That same butcher was an expert at butchering wild game meats too.  A good butcher can handle a knife in a way that will make a surgeon jealous! 
     While butchering, sometimes the chef would walk by and say "I'm hungry!  Fix me something to eat with a few of the veal scraps."  Scraps are what good cooks eat!  Eating scrap meat keeps the restaurant food cost down.  
     All cooks have quick and easy simple recipes for veal scraps.  Sandwiches were the most popular way to eat veal scraps in a kitchen.  We had a bunch of sweet bell peppers in the restaurant that day, so I made this sandwich for the chef.  
     After eating the sandwich, the chef said "Man, that was good!  Run a sandwich like that tomorrow for a lunch special!"  The next day, the simple sweet pepper and veal sandwich actually turned out to be a lunch sandwich that the customers liked!  
     I had a few veal scraps in my freezer and a sweet orange bell pepper today and I thought that this sandwich recipe would be nice for dinner.  It has been a long time since I have made one of these restaurant kitchen veal scrap snack sandwiches.  It turned out to be tasty as usual!
     Italian Veal and Sweet Pepper Sandwich:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty sandwich.
     Step 1:  Trim the fat and silver floss off of about 5 to 6 ounces of veal scraps.  (Pieces of veal that are a little bit too small for cutlets or scallopini are perfect for this recipe!)  
     Gently pound each piece of veal scrap thin and flat with a meat mallet.  
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.  
     Brush a split whole wheat hamburger roll with olive oil.  
     Grill the hamburger roll, till it is toasted golden brown.  
     Place the hamburger roll on a plate and set it aside.    
     Step 3:  Leave the sauté pan on medium/medium low heat.  
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add veal scraps.
     Sauté till light brown highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Add 2 minced garlic cloves.  
     Add 6  thick slices of sweet orange bell pepper.  
     Sauté the veal and peppers, till the peppers start to become tender.
     Step 5:  Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.    
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.  
     Add 1/2 cup of beef stock.    
     Simmer and reduce till most of the liquid evaporates and the thin beef glaze clings to the veal.  
     Step 6:  Remove the pan from the heat.  
     Use tongs to place the veal and sweet peppers on the hamburger roll.  
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs, pickled banana pepper slices and black olives.  

     Simple and tasty!  This sandwich is impressive looking when the veal and peppers are stacked high.  Once the top half of the bun is place on the sandwich and the sandwich is squeezed together, it becomes a manageable size sandwich to eat.  Oregano, garlic, a hint of lemon and the beef stock glace is all the extra flavors this sandwich needs.  This is an easy sandwich to make and it has a classic flavor!              

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