While playing Suzette, a cordon bleu cook in the Zurich Comedy Club‘s production of Don’t Dress for Dinner (November 6-16, 2013), I cooked all the dishes named in the script. This was the third course: Veal a la crème.
Actually, the dish should be “veau” a la crème in proper French. What is meant in the play is probably a blanquette de veau, a ragout cooked in a white stock or water with aromatic flavorings. Neither the veal nor the butter is browned in the cooking process when cooking en blanquette.
However, I found and adapted an alternate version of Veaua la crème using veal tournedos (small fillets usually cut from the tip of the tenderloin), and I decided to try that out instead. The tournedos are seared briefly and finished in the oven.
This was deeee-lish! The veal and pancetta went together splendidly. Also, this was really quite easy to put together. I would probably cook this every week, if veal and pancetta weren’t so pricey. I can imagine that this recipe could probably also work well using another sort of tender meat, such as a turkey breast fillet.
Veal a la crème
A delicious combination of veal and pancetta, pan seared then topped with cheese and crème fraîche and finished in the oven.
500 g. (1 lb.) veal tenderloin, cut crosswise into 4 equal pieces (tournedos)
salt and pepper
100 g. (3.5 oz) grated Gruyère cheese
4 slices pancetta arrollata (rolled pancetta), bacon, or Canadian bacon
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
120 g. (1/2 cup) crème fraîche
Preheat oven to 220 °C (430°F).
Wash, and pat veal dry. Season with salt and pepper. Put aside to come to room temperature.
Cook pancetta in an ovenproof heavy skillet or cast iron pan over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes total, and transfer to a plate. (Do not clean skillet.)
Heat butter in skillet over moderately high heat, then sauté tournedos until browned, about 4 minutes total. (Veal will be only partially cooked.)
Remove skillet from heat and put a slice of bacon, then a heaping Tbsp. of the cheese, and a heaping Tbsp. crème fraîche, on each tournedo. Add the remainder of the cheese and crème fraîche to the pan.
Roast in middle of oven, uncovered, until cheese begins to melt, 8 to 10 minutes. (Veal should be slightly pink inside.)
Transfer tournedos to plates and keep warm.
Whisk pan juices until blended, season with salt and pepper, then divide among plates.