I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

Posts tagged ‘veal blanquette’

Day 23 – Eggs, Veal and Pork – Wed 15th Feb

Today we started off with a demo with chef Eric on the subject of cooking eggs, then we had a couple of practicals.

The chef demonstrated lots of different ways of cooking eggs.

Scrambled eggs cooked in a little butter and finished with cream were served with a croute (circle of bread cooked in a little clarified butter) and smoked salmon.

Eggs Florentine – poached egg on a bed of cooked spinach, topped with sauce mornay and glazed under the grill (called a salamander).

A soft boiled egg.

Oeuf sur plat – cooked in a buttered ceramic dish over gentle direct heat until the white just cooked.

Oeuf en cocotte – cooked in a ramekin in a bain marie in the oven until almost set and finished with a little cream around the yolk.

Deep fried egg – an egg broken into hot oil and a couple of spoons used to form the white around the yolk and deep fried until the white is golden and crispy and the yolk still runny.

Omelette fines herbes – omelette with parsley, tarragon, chervil and chives, chopped finely.

 Then we had our first practical which was to make the blanquette de veau, or white veal stew.

Chef John took us for this practical and turned up 10 minutes late, when we have been told that we must be there at least 10 minutes before class. This means that we start late and setting up does not get done before class, cutting into our class time.

One of my classmates said to the chef that it wasn’t good that the chef wasn’t on time when we had to be, which seemed to annoy the chef greatly, and told the class that we weren’t his only responsibility and that if he was late for class because a previous class had run late, or for any other reason, it was just tough and ‘I don’t care’! And wasn’t going to discuss it.
Can’t say I am particularly impressed with the attitude. He merely needed to say ‘Sorry I’m late. Previous class ran late. Thanks for being patient’ or something like that, but he does give the impression that he really doesn’t care. He spends half of the time in class on his mobile phone and everyone has commented on it within our group.
Having said all that, he didn’t keep any signs of anger towards the class and happily answered any questions and helped students as needed.

Making the veal blanquette went well. Not too hard, though my sauce was just a little thick. Quite a light flavour to this stew. Would probably have more flavour of the veal was cooked in white veal stock, rather than just water. The rice pilaf was also fairly simple though if I’d used a narrower pan, there would have been less evaporation of the stock and the rice wouldn’t have got browned around the edges. The chef was fairly happy with it all though, just noting the above points.

Then we had another practical, cooking the pork cutlet and mashed potato. Chef Gilles took us for this practical, which was good as he gave us the demonstration of this the day before and is very friendly to students (but not above chastising the class when necessary).

I had a fairly thin pork cutlet which made is quite hard to tie into a round shape as the string kept slipping off the thin edge, but I did have lots of trimmings with which to make a tasty sauce. Being so thin, it took only 10 minutes in the oven, once browned, to cook it through.

The potatoes were straightforward though, disappointingly, I didn’t find any gold when doing the panning. The drum sieve did create a fine mash though and it was wonderfully rich and tasty when finished with milk, butter, seasoning and a little butter.

The sauce had a great rich flavour and I managed to balance the honey, lemon mustard well. Chef Gilles liked it a lot and apologised for eating half of it!

Day 21 – Beef, Beef, more Beef and Veal – Mon 13th Feb

Day 21. The start of week 5. Can hardly believe I’ve completed 4 weeks already.

Today was about more beef dishes with a demo and practical with chef Eric and then another demo with chef Gilles about veal.

Chef Eric started by preparing a whole beef fillet for cooking as steaks. He pulled off the chain which runs down the side of a fillet, trimmed the fat and sinew off, then cut 4 tournedos steaks for the dish he would be preparing later, leaving just the tail of the fillet. Here are all the pieces that came from the fillet:

Next came completing the boeuf bourguignon he started in a previous lesson.
The beef had already been removed from the marinade and was patted dry, then browned in a pan. Then the mirepoix that was in the marinade was browned in the same pan. The marinade liquid was brought to a boil and skimmed to remove the coagulated blood. Some toasted flour and tomato purée were mixed into the beef and mirepoix, the pan was deglazed with the wine marinade, stock was added and the pan was put in the oven to cook through.

While the meat was cooking the garnishes were prepared. Baby onions were cooked and glazed brown, mushrooms and some bacon lardons were sautéed until golden and some heart shaped bread slices were sautéed in clarified butter. Turned potatoes were steamed.

Once the meat was cooked, the sauce was finished with some red wine reduced to a glaze, then the meat and garnishes were plated:

Next the chef prepared a peppered steak with darphin potatoes.

Each piece of fillet steak was tied loosely to hold its shape.

The potato was prepared next. Julienned though a mandolin, salted to remove moisture, the potato was cooked in a ring in a frying pan with a little clarified butter, then into the oven to cook until golden.

The steaks were seasoned, crushed black peppercorns pressed into them, then cooked in clarified butter, browning on all sides. The chef cooked 4 steaks to demonstrate blue, rare, medium and well done steaks. The 1st 2 were cooked in the pan, then the pan was put in the oven to continue cooking the other two.

Once all were cooked, they were rested while shallot was sautéed until in the pan, then deglazed with cognac, stock added and reduced by 80%. Then some cream and crushed green peppercorns were added to the sauce.

Finally the steaks were reheated in a pan with foaming butter being spooned over them, before being plated with the potato and the sauce:

In the practical we made the roast beef and vegetables the chef demonstrated last week.

It went ok except that the piece of meat we were given was just a steak, rather than a piece of beef for roasting. This meant that it was hard to brown and roast without overcooking and it wasn’t as rare as I would have liked. My turned potatoes for roasting still need some work on the turning and the turned artichoke was a lot of work for a bland and uninteresting vegetable and not one I would relish doing again. The beef and sauce tasted pretty good though and was a lovely dinner for my wife and I.

Chef Gilles took us for the last lesson of the day – a demo on veal.

He started with a blanquette de veau which is a white veal stew. Cubed stewing veal was covered in cold water and brought to a simmer to release scum, then drained and returned to the pan with mirepoix, bouquet garni, garlic and mushroom trimmings. It was brought to the boil again, skimmed and simmered with the lid on.

Baby onions were cooked blanc and mushrooms were cooked with water, butter and lemon until cooked through. A rice pilaf was prepared by sautéeing onion in butter, the rice was added, then hot chicken stock, a cartouche put on top, then cooked in the oven for 20 minutes until the rice was cooked and the liquid all evaporated. It was finished with a little butter.

The sauce for the veal was thickened with a roux and then finished with a liaison of cream and egg yolk and all was arranged on a plate:

Lastly the chef made a veal escalope with lemon. A slice of veal was trimmed then flattened by beating between sheets of cling film.

Black olives were diced and a lemon was segmented and the juice retained.

The veal was dusted with seasoned flour and fried sautéed quickly in butter. The sauce was made from nut brown butter, lemon juice, veal stock, lemon segments and the diced olives, reduced together and finished with a little parsley:

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