Roast Veal Cutlets and Cauliflower Purée

Dana Pırzola

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Cauliflower, which was known as ‘rose cabbage’ in Ottoman times, is much loved in Turkey—pickled, sautéed or boiled for salads. But in the past, it was never puréed, and certainly never served with parmesan. And you’d hardly ever encounter veal cutlets in Turkey—cattle are mostly used for dairy farming, and the meat minced when the milk runs out.

So we’d have to call this an example of ‘the new Istanbul cooking’.

Ingredients

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) olive oil
  • 4 thick veal cutlets
  • 1 celeriac (or 3 potatoes)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 4 French shallots (eschalots)
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 4 thyme stalks
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Cauliflower Purée

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) pouring (whipping) cream
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 50 g ( oz/½ cup) grated parmesan

Date Molasses Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons date molasses (or grape molasses)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).

Heat a splash of the olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the cutlets and sear for 1 minute on each side. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Skin the celeriac and roughly chop. Roughly chop the carrots. Quarter the onion. Quarter the garlic bulb, leaving the skins on. Roughly chop the French shallots.

Pour the wine and remaining olive oil into a deep baking pan, then add the cutlets, in a single layer. Spread the chopped vegetables, fennel seeds and thyme stalks over the cutlets. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper and pour in enough water to cover the vegetables. Tightly cover the pan with foil and bake for 3½ hours.

Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower into florets, discarding the stalk. Put the cauliflower in a saucepan, cover with water and boil for 30 minutes over medium heat. Scoop out the cauliflower pieces with a slotted spoon and transfer to a food processor. Pulse to a thick liquid.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the flour. Continue to stir for 3 minutes to remove any lumps. Pour in the cream. Stir for 2 more minutes to make a smooth sauce. Add the cauliflower, white pepper and nutmeg. Whisk for 5 minutes over low heat. Add the grated parmesan and whisk for another 5 minutes to make a smooth purée. Divide the purée among four plates.

Remove the baking tray from the oven. To make the glaze, melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat. Scoop out 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the liquid from the baking tray and add it to the butter. Stir in the molasses, add the cumin, pepper and salt. Lift out the veal cutlets, one at a time, and glaze them in the molasses mixture, about 1 minute on each side.

Place one cutlet on top of the cauliflower purée and serve with the vegetables.