Veal Tail Risotto – Nose to Tail Fortnight Day 1

1 May

So if you read this previous post, you’ll know I’m eating my way along the animal this fortnight, beginning at the tail.

Day 1 began with tail, rather than head, because I didn’t plan very well, so had to get some veal tail out the freezer. (Offal drawer is not big enough to accommodate a whole head at the moment.) This veal tail I purchased a few weeks ago from the Alternative Meat Company along with my hearts, hanger steaks and tongues. Veal does have a beefy taste, but quite a light one. It tastes pretty sweet too. I wanted to use some flavours that wouldn’t cover the veal taste. With ox tail, recipes tend to use quite a lot of heavy flavours like star anise and chilli and I wanted to avoid that.

Veal tails are smaller than oxtails, so I used two. I was cooking for three people.

To begin with I decided to poach the tails in water for a few hours to separate the meat from the bones and to make a veal stock.

The water looks a bit pink because I added the defrosted blood from the cellophane packets to the water. It;s all good. I let the bones simmer all afternoon, so for maybe four hours. Keep topping up the water so it doesn’t boil dry. When the meat is separating itself from the bones, take the pieces out, pull the meat off and put to one side. Bones, gristle and cartilage to the bin. You should now have a bowl of poached veal and a jug of veal stock!

ooh look at all the goodness in there

The stock should look cloudy. This will be the base stock for your risotto, it should smell a little beefy and a little chickeny.

Then, to the risotto making.

Finely chop 1 onion, 3 cloves of smoked garlic and 2 sticks of celery. Heat a tablespoon of oil in your risotto pan, add the finely chopped ingredients and sweat them down gently so its all softened and lovely. Add 1 tsp dried parsley, half tsp dried rosemary and quarter tsp ground nutmeg. Stir it all together. Add the risotto rice -enough for 3 people – about 350g I think? I judged it by shakes from the packet though … Stir again. Add the veal bits and stir around.

The you’re at the point where you can add your stock –  a little at a time so the rice swells with the fluid, then add a bit more and so on. I’ve assumed that most people reading have made a risotto before – if you haven’t then please get in touch and I can give you more deets.

When you’re happy that your rice is cooked and lovely, take the pan off the heat and stir in about 500g of fresh spinach. The heat from the rosotto will wilt it down fast, but you loose very few of the nutrients from it.

Serve with grated cheese (parmesan for authenticity, cheddar for convenience if you’re me).

I understand, mostly what you can see is a pile of cheese.

To sum up, the ingredients you need are:

1 kg veal tail, several pints of water, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 sticks celery, 1 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/4 nutmeg, 350g risotto rice, 500g spinach, cheese for grating.

I hope you like the freshness of the ingredients. I think this was a good start to Nose to Tail Fortnight! I’m going to try and blog each day moving my way along the animal – here’s where we are now:

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7 Responses to “Veal Tail Risotto – Nose to Tail Fortnight Day 1”

  1. Brian May 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Hey, Chef Iggy here. Glad you liked my post on brain fritters! I am now folling your blog as well as I think your one year mission is awesome. If you check out some of my former posts you will see fish breakdowns for skate, stingray, eel, welk (what is mistakenly refered to as conch), fish liver, and veal hearts. Kidneys, pigs trotters stuffed with sweet breads, and veal liver recipes to come.

    • offallygood May 2, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks for the follow. I was hoping some testicles might come today, but it doesn’t look like it 😦 any suggestions?

      • Brian May 5, 2012 at 6:49 am #

        Have you tried spleen?

      • offallygood May 5, 2012 at 9:21 am #

        No I haven’t – in the UK it seems fairly hard to come by. I think also cos I’m a young girl, most butchers look at me quite strangely when I ask for things. But I’m working on it!

      • Brian May 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        Find a butcher that gets used to you and it will come easier. Trust me I still have problems. Find ethnic butchers and markets that would carry organ meat for a certain cultural diet. For example a butcher from Spain would have testicles as they are a part of their diet, ones from Turkey and Greece would as well. Spleen is a bitch to find as any animal only has one. Lungs are even harder to find as they normally get tossed out. I have a great recipe, but it is involved, for pigs trotters that are stuffed with sweetbreads. Do you have a recommendation for steak and kidney pie?

      • offallygood May 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

        Steak and kidney pie isn’t a dish I’ve really tackled yet. I didn’t know if I was allowed the steak as part of what I’m doing. I did eat one in a nasty cheap pub that did smell of urine overwhelmingly. That was unfortunate. Maybe its something I’ll look to. Are you laying down the gauntlet?
        Lungs (especially pigs) are easy to come by in the market in Leeds. I use the big indoor market the most, but the butchers seem to each specialise. Most of my offal comes from the African Butcher, but they are not very chatty. They are starting to recognise me though. I made some sweetbread enquiries, but can only get them by the kilo it appears for about £35. I’m sure I can deal with a whole kilo of them … debate seems to be open as to whether testicles freeze well, and i imagine sweetbreads are similar texturally? So many questions!

      • Brian May 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

        No,no challenge there with the pie. I had one that smelled and tasted like piss as well. I have another friend who is a chef as well that pays a farm to raise, slaughter, and package pigs, goats, and veal for her. She does not eat the organ meat that much so I take it off her hands and utilize it. I don’t mind it as much as other people, and I have a thing about not wasting anything especially since I am an avid fisherman and refuse to kill anything and waste it. I have a lot of kidneys right now and need to do something with them, especially since May 6 is national donate a kidney day. Testicles do not freeze well, but sweetbreads are not harmed by it as much as say brains.

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