Cook and Serve Meat Dishes at Parties

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Meat-Dishes_cCook different interesting meat dishes for your guests. Here are several recipes: Stuffed Veal Rolls, Basic Brown Sauce for meat, Pork Fillet in Puff Pastry. And also we offer you some advice for meat serving: presentation of meat dishes, garnishes and partners for meat, problems with cooking and so on. Surprise your guests!


Paupiettes de veau (Stuffed Veal Rolls)

Ingredients: 5 veal escalopes or ideally 1 lb eye of veal fillet sliced thinly (French noix de veau); 1/2 lb calves' liver; 5 oz raw, unsalted pork fat; 18 very small shallots, peeled and steamed for 15 minutes; 1 grated shallot or small onion; 1-2 dessertspoons cooking brandy; salt and pepper to season; 3 1/2 oz ground almonds; flour; 3 fluid oz oil; 3/4 lb Sauce Espagnole (basic brown sauce); 2 fluid oz cooking sherry.

Method: The chosen veal pieces must be batted out very thinly indeed either by the butcher or by you with a metal meat batter. Then they must be cut into nine approximately 4" X 6" triangles using trimmings to patch over thinnest parts or missing corners. Mince together and rub through a sieve or emulsify rough-cut liver, pork fat and shallot. Add seasoning, brandy and ground almonds. Work up to a moist paste. Divide equally between veal panels. Roll up into little sausages, being careful to tuck ends in neatly. Tie into small parcels with finest possible, smooth trussing string. Turn in flour and, if liked, refrigerate at this point until needed. Heat oil in shallow pan. Fry paupiettes briskly until browned all over. Lift into heat-resistant container. Cover with shallots, brown sauce and sherry. Cover and cook one shelf above centre at Gas Mark 4 (355° F) for 30-35 minutes or until paupiettes are tender. Lift out on to serving dish. Sieve all residue, taste, correct seasoning, pour overall and serve.

Sauce Espagnole (Basic Brown Sauce)

Ingredients: 1 oz flour; 1 oz butter; 2 pints strong brown stock; 4 oz fresh tomatoes, rough-cut; Mirepoix.

Method: Melt butter in small pan, add flour and stir over moderate heat until a good strong brown. Add stock gradually, beating well between each addition. Add tomatoes and Mirepoix and simmer until reduced to half quantity. Strain and use as indicated.

Mirepoix

Ingredients: 1 medium carrot grated; 1 medium onion grated; 1 sprig thyme; 1/2 crushed bay leaf; 4" chopped white of celery; 1 oz butter; 1 fluid oz oil; 1 tablespoon Madeira.

Method: Heat butter and oil together. Fry carrot, onion and celery until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and add to Sauce Espagnole.

Filet de porc feuillete (Pork Fillet in Puff Pastry)

Ingredients: 3 medium fillets of pork (or 2 large ones); 3/4 lb bought or home-made puff paste; 1/4 lb mushrooms; 3 fluid oz dry white wine; salt and pepper to season; a 1" sprig of rosemary; 1 small egg.

Method: Roll out puff pastry very thinly indeed into a long panel and from it cut rectangles to enclose chosen fillets of pork, being sure each rectangle is large enough to envelop fillet loosely and with a 3/4" double overlap at top centre. Lay one fillet centrally on each rectangle. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Strew thinly sliced, unpeeled mushrooms equally over fillets. Strip rosemary sprig of its spiked leaves, pound resolutely to a complete pap and then mix with the wine. Drip this mixture equally over fillets. Brush all paste edge-surfaces liberally with strained beaten egg (or substitute cold water). Overlap the ends and pinch together firmly. If desired, refrigerate overnight. Immediately before baking, brush all upper paste surfaces with strained beaten egg. Bake one shelf above centre at Gas Mark 6 (400 ° F) until paste is a rich golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes, remembering that pork should always be well cooked.

Presentation and garnish

Taupiettes de Veau. Always remember to remove the string. These can be served direct from their cooking container on the sideboard onto individual plates, or garnished and presented on a heated serving dish which is then handed round so that each guest can help themselves. For this latter make and pipe around a suitable meat dish a border of creamed (Duchesse) potato which can be coloured pale green if liked, provided harmless vegetable colouring is used. Lift the cooked paupiettes from their sauce, remove the strings, range down the length of a heated dish in a suitable pattern, cover with the sauce and serve. Alternatively, use a minute quantity of creamed potato to pipe 3" apart tiny rosettes around an oval dish with a flat rim. Stamp out 3" rounds of bread with a plain pastry cutter. Stamp out the centres with a 1 3/4" diameter plain pastry cutter, thus achieving, say, six rings and six discs. Fry to a rich golden brown in slightly smoking hot oil. Cut a scrap from one side of each so that both can stand erect when pressed into the tiny potato rosettes.

Arrange the paupiettes as described above.

Filet de Porc Feuillete. Strictly speaking these require no garnish. Large fillets yield 3 portions; the small ones 2. Cut them in the kitchen like lengths of French bread with sloping incisions. Arrange on a heat-resistant dish and either serve them onto plates from the sideboard quite plain, or if wishing to hand them round, interspersed with a few carefully picked sprigs of watercress.

Partners

Both veal and pork are white meats so that in effect the same rulings apply as those we have given you in the preceding programme section on Poultry for dry white wines and clarets or red Bordeaux, known in the wine world as the Queen of Wines. If you prefer at any time to use a main course red meat you would then turn for partners to Burgundy, the King of Wines, which we shall discuss in the next programme on Cheese. The Service of Red Table Wines

As an overall statement all red table wines are drunk at room temperature. This phrase was never meant to cover the draughty and unheated dining rooms of mediaeval castles but may be taken to indicate a temperature in which you can dine comfortably. For the process to be gradual and for the wines to drink at their best, young or old may be brought from their bins or wine racks and stood in the dining room up to 24 hours before service. Having brought the wine to room temperature, you must then allow it to 'breathe', i.e. absorb oxygen, so draw the cork up to an hour beforehand for young wines, and progressively less as the wines are of older vintage. The really old great wines are comparatively fragile and 'go over' much faster.

The best way to illustrate this is to give you an example. Some years ago we drank an 1875 claret called Chateau Margaux. Being a veteran it had accumulated considerable sediment in bottle. It was drawn gently from the bin and poured into a decanter very slowly indeed with a lit candle held behind the neck of the bottle. At the point where the wine showed the first indications of clouding we stopped pouring, placed the stopper into the decanter upon the dining table at 3.30 p.m. It was drunk at 8.00 p.m. that night, the stopper being withdrawn immediately prior to service.

Problems

The over-riding problem with these two dishes is one of timing, for guests can be unpunctual and meat will go on cooking even if the oven is at low when it is (a) sauced and (b) enclosed in puff pastry. Whether presenting or dishing straight from the cooking container, it is best to slow down the heat penetration as much as possible after cooking and before dinner by wrapping the dish tightly in kitchen foil.

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