By Anne Willan

Anne Willan has been an associate editor of Gourmet and food editor of the Washington Star, and currently contributes a column to the Tribune Media Services International as well as writing for the Los Angeles Times.  Anne’s international outreach, with books published in 24 countries and translated into 18 languages, makes her one of the most internationally renowned of today’s cooking authorities.

Côtes de Veau Dijonnaise Veal Chops with Mustard

The savvy mustard-makers of Dijon have done such a good marketing job that today the town is synonymous with the classic aromatic French mustard flavored with wine and herbs. In this recipe you can take your pick of smooth or grainy mustard, with or without herbal or fruity flavorings. Veal chops, particularly with this creamy sauce, suggest to me a similarly luxurious vegetable, fresh asparagus perhaps, or fine green beans.

  • 4 veal chops
  • Salt and pepper      
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6-ounces lean bacon, cut in lardons
  • 16 – 18 baby onions, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup white wine, preferably Chardonnay
  • 3/4 cup veal broth, more if needed
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • large sauté pan or frying pan      
Sprinkle chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in the sauté pan, add bacon lardons and fry them over medium heat until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove them and set aside. Add onions and brown them over medium heat, shaking the pan often so they color evenly, 7 to 10 minutes. Set them aside also. Lastly add the chops and brown them, allowing 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them and brown the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Take them out, whisk in the flour and cook until bubbling. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the veal broth and bring this sauce to a boil. Stir in the lardons, replace the chops, pushing them down into the sauce, and add the bouquet garni.

Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Add onions and continue simmering until they are soft and the chops are tender when poked with a two-pronged fork, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chops. Turn them from time to time and add more broth if the sauce gets thick.

When chops are tender, transfer them to 4 warm plates. Discard the bouquet garni, stir the crème fraîche into the sauce and bring just to a simmer. Stir in the mustard and parsley and take the pan from the heat. The fresh, piquant taste of mustard turns bitter when overcooked, so it should not be boiled; always add it towards the end of cooking. Taste, adjust seasoning of the sauce and spoon it over the chops. Serve at once.

Yield: 4 servings

Excerpted from THE COUNTRY COOKING OF FRANCE, by Anne Willan, Chronicle Books, © 2007