Ah, veal – a protein that often divides food enthusiasts into ardent lovers and those who hesitate to try it. But let me tell you a little secret: once you taste this succulent herb-crusted rack of veal, you’ll fall head over heels for it. In preparing this dish, I’ve drawn inspiration from my tried-and-true technique for lamb racks. However, since veal boasts a delicate and mild flavor, we’ll be treating it differently to ensure the herb crust complements without overpowering this delectable meat.
The Unique Flavor of Veal
Do you wonder how veal differs from beef? Well, the distinction is quite apparent. While structurally resembling a smaller rack of beef, veal flaunts a lighter color and a taste more akin to pork than traditional beef. Furthermore, veal’s tenderness is unparalleled, as the muscles in the animal have not endured the same level of exertion as those of a mature steer, resulting in an incredibly tender mouthfeel.
Unleashing the Full Potential of Veal
When it comes to cooking veal, the options are endless. You can roast it, bread it and fry it, grill it, or even turn it into succulent kabobs. But, if you’re looking for the ultimate veal experience, I have a secret that will take your taste buds to new heights. Are you ready for it? It’s all about utilizing your grill’s rotisserie feature. Not only do I prefer cooking everything on the grill, but the self-basting rotisserie process will elevate the flavor of this veal to stratospheric levels. And guess what? You probably already have everything you need on hand to make it happen. Curious about the secret ingredient? Keep reading!
Mastering the Art of Grilling Veal
Now, in this recipe, I’ll be using a charcoal grill with a rotisserie setup. However, I understand that not everyone has access to a charcoal grill or a rotisserie. Fear not; I’ve got you covered. Even if you have a newer gas grill, chances are you have a rotisserie attachment that you can use to achieve similar results. And for those without either option, I’ll provide instructions for getting a deliciously close outcome using the reverse sear method and taking advantage of different temperature zones on your grill.
Grilled Herb-Crusted Rack of Veal
- Serves: 6
- Prep Time: 5 hours
- Cooking Time: 90 min
- 1 4-5 pound rack of veal (Frenched)
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp fresh mint (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme (finely chopped)
- Zest from one lemon
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
For the Grill
- Scraps from herbs
- 1 medium onion (quartered)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
Step 1: Begin by stripping the fresh herbs off their stalks and finely mincing them. Remember, don’t discard any of the herb stalks.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the minced herbs with salt, pepper, and olive oil to create a paste.
Step 3: Place the rack of veal on a sheet of plastic wrap and generously smear the herb paste all over its surface. Wrap the veal tightly with the plastic wrap, place it on a plate, and refrigerate it for at least 5 hours or overnight. This marinating process will infuse the veal with incredible flavor.
Step 4: Remove the veal from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature while you prepare your grill. This process takes approximately an hour.
Step 5: If you have a rotisserie, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set it up. For those without a rotisserie, you can still achieve fantastic results. Light your grill and configure it for indirect heat at a temperature of 275°F-300°F, using a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Step 6: For those using a rotisserie, insert the spit and prongs into the veal while it is still wrapped in plastic. If you’re using indirect heat, place the veal over the cool side of the grill, bones facing the heat source. Regardless of the method you choose, add the onion quarters, rosemary, garlic, and herb scraps on top of the hot coals. This will create aromatic smoke that will enhance the flavor of the veal. Close the grill lid, allowing the herb-infused smoke to work its magic on the veal. Remember to monitor the veal’s internal temperature every 15-20 minutes using a reliable quick-read thermometer.
Step 7: Once the veal’s internal temperature reaches 125°F-130°F, remove it from the grill. The veal will be beautifully cooked to medium-rare perfection.
Step 8: Tent the veal with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. During this resting period, the veal will continue to cook slightly and the juices will redistribute, resulting in a moist and tender final product.
Try the Reverse Sear Method
If you don’t have access to a rotisserie, fear not! You can still create an extraordinary dish using the reverse sear method. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Strip the fresh herbs off their stalks and finely mince them.
Step 2: In a small bowl, mix the minced herbs with salt, pepper, and olive oil to form a paste.
Step 3: Smear the herb paste all over the rack of veal, ensuring it is covered evenly. Wrap the veal tightly with plastic wrap, place it on a plate, and refrigerate it for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Step 4: Allow the veal to come to room temperature by leaving it on the countertop for up to an hour while you prepare your grill.
Step 5: For those with a rotisserie, follow your manufacturer’s instructions for setting it up. If you don’t have a rotisserie, light your grill and configure it for indirect heat at a temperature of 275°F-300°F, using a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Step 6: Insert a reliable leave-in thermometer into the thickest portion of the veal. Place the veal over indirect heat, with the bones facing the heat source. If you’re using a rotisserie, monitor the meat’s temperature using a reliable quick-read thermometer.
Step 7: On top of the hot coals, place the onion quarters, rosemary, garlic, and herb scraps. Allow these ingredients to smoke, bathing the veal in aromatic flavors. If you’re using a gas grill, wrap the items in aluminum foil, poking holes in the packet with a fork to allow the smoke to escape and envelop the veal.
Step 8: Once the veal’s internal temperature reaches 125°F, remove it from the grill and prepare the grill for high direct heat.
Step 9: Place the veal directly over high heat, turning it often to achieve a beautifully dark crust. This will take approximately 4 minutes in total. Remember to flip the meat frequently to ensure all sides are kissed by the flame and develop that irresistible crust through the Maillard reaction.
Step 10: Allow the veal to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. During this resting period, the veal will continue to cook slightly, reaching the perfect medium-rare doneness.
Indulge in the Perfectly Grilled Herb-Crusted Rack of Veal
There you have it – the art of grilling a tender and flavorful herb-crusted rack of veal. Whether you opt for the rotisserie or reverse sear method, the result will be a dish that transforms veal into a culinary masterpiece. So gather your ingredients, fire up your grill, and let the tantalizing aroma of the herb-infused smoke take you on a journey to veal paradise. Get ready to savor each succulent bite of this exquisite dish. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Now, head over to Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ to find more mouthwatering recipes and unleash your inner grill maestro!