Veal with Fava Bean Butter Recipe

Nov 7, 2011 7:01 pm

Add a floral touch with fava bean flowers

Franc, a pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida, was brilliant at putting flavors together. He would steal our peeled fava beans, spread sweet butter on grilled toast, dot the toast with the purloined beans, and sprinkle coarse salt on top. The combination was amazing. Years later, recalling Franc’s inspired marriage of ingredients, I set about making fava bean butter with the creamy consistency of dairy butter. I have paired it here with other legume specimens.  From VOLT ink. by Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, Olive Press 2011

Read our interviews with Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.

Photo: Ed Anderson
Brighten up your veal dish with flowers and fava beans.
Servings: 4 servings


For Veal
1 1 1/2-pound boneless veal breast
3 grapefruits
3 lemons
3 limes
3 oranges
1/2 teaspoon water
5 1/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups table salt
8 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup allspice berries
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
15 fresh thyme sprigs
4 teaspoons pink curing salt per gallon of brine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Maldon sea salt
12 fava bean flowers
For Fava Bean Butter
22 ounces fava beans, in the pod
1 1/3 cups Arbequina extra-virgin olive oil
30 grams glycerine powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 slices grilled country bread
For Veal Jus
canola oil for deep-frying
2 pounds veal shanks, cut into 1-inch pieces (ask the butcher to do this)
8 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
fine sea salt
Banyuls vinegar
For Peas, Beans and Sprouts
8 snow peas
8 sugar snap peas
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt
12 shelled fava beans, blanched and peeled
28 English Pea Pods, shelled
20 bean sprouts
4 baby carrots
4 baby turnips
4 baby radishes
8 borage flowers
For Coffee-Cardamom "Soil"
3/4 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups almond flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons ground coffee
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons black cocoa powder
5 teaspoons ground cardamom
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Fava Bean Butter

  1. Shell the fava beans and discard the pods. You should have about 101⁄2 ounces (300 g) beans.
  2. Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Prepare an ice bath. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes. Using a skimmer, transfer the beans to the ice bath. When the beans are cool, drain and peel them and put them in the blender.
  4. Line a shallow baking dish with plastic wrap. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil to 140°F (60°C).  Add the glycerine powder and stir well to combine. Pour the oil-glycerine mixture over the fava beans in the blender and process until completely smooth. Transfer the purée to the prepared baking dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight or up to 16 hours.
  5. Remove the frozen fava mixture from the freezer and transfer it to a cutting board.
  6. Chop it up, return it to the blender, and process one more time to make sure the purée is completely smooth.
  7. Transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate until ready to serve. It will keep for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, put the fava bean butter in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until light. It should have the consistency of whipped butter. Serve immediately. 
For Veal Jus
  1. Pour the canola oil into a deep fryer to the fill line or into a tall-sided saucepan to a depth of 21⁄2 inches (6 cm) and heat to 350°F (180°C). Set a metal rack over a sheet pan.
  2. Rinse the veal shanks under cold running water and pat them completely dry with paper towels. Add the shanks to the hot oil and fry until they are a dark golden brown, 5–8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the shanks to the rack on the sheet pan and let drain for 2–3 minutes.
  3. In the pressure cooker, combine the veal shanks, stock, onion, carrot, and celery. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, lock the lid in place, bring the pressure up to high, and cook for 45 minutes. Let the pressure dissipate naturally, then uncover.
  4. Strain the sauce though a fine-mesh sieve placed over a saucepan. Discard the solids. Place the pan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, and adjust the heat to maintain a low simmer.
  5. Cook until reduced to a syrupy consistency reminiscent of cold maple syrup, about 45 minutes.
  6. Add the butter to the simmering sauce and stir until completely absorbed, then season to taste with the salt and vinegar and use immediately. Alternatively, once the sauce is reduced to a syrupy consistency, pour it into a metal bowl, place the bowl over an ice bath, and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a lidded container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just before serving, return the sauce to a simmer and add the butter, salt, and vinegar as directed.  

For Peas, Beans and Sprouts

  1. Bring a saucepan filled with generously salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Julienne the snow peas and snap peas lengthwise.
  3. Put them in a small bowl and season with 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.25 g) of the olive oil and with salt to taste. Cut the fava beans into small batons. Add the English peas to the boiling water and blanch for about 10 seconds.
  4. Using a small sieve, transfer them immediately to the ice bath, leaving them in the sieve as they cool. Drain the peas well, pat dry with paper towels, and transfer them to a bowl.
  5. Add the fava beans, bean sprouts, carrots, turnips, radishes, borage flowers, and the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.25 g) olive oil, and sea salt to taste and toss to mix. Serve right away. 

For Coffee-Cardamom "Soil"

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°F). Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, almond flour, all-purpose flour, coffee, salt, cocoa powder, and cardamom until well blended. Add the melted butter and mix with a rubber spatula to incorporate. It will have the texture of wet sand. Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on the prepared sheet pan.
  3. Bake until aromatic and dry to the touch, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature on the pan. Sift the soil through a fine-mesh sieve placed over an airtight container. The “soil” may be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.

For Veal

  1. To make a brine, using a Microplane grater, zest and then juice all of the citrus fruits. Add the zest to the juice and reserve. In a large pot, combine the water, brown sugar, table salt, ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, allspice, mustard seeds, thyme, and pink salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. When the brine is at a boil, remove from the heat, add the citrus juice and zest mixture, and transfer to a large metal bowl. Set the bowl over the ice bath and let cool until the brine is ice-cold, stirring occasionally and replenishing the ice as needed, about 45 minutes.
  3. Put the veal breast in a deep bowl or baking dish. Pour the cold brine over the breast and top with a heavy plate, if necessary, to keep the meat fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  4. Preheat the circulating water bath to 158°F (70°C).
  5. Remove the veal breast from the brine and pat dry. Put the breast and 1⁄4 cup (56 g) olive oil in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal. Cook in the circulating water bath for 12 hours. Transfer the veal, still in the bag, to a sheet pan and place a second sheet pan on top.
  6. Put about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of kitchen items, such as canned goods or bags of flour, on top of the second pan and refrigerate the veal breast for 8–12 hours.
  7. When ready to serve, remove the veal breast from the bag and cut into slices 1⁄16 inch (1.5 mm) thick and 6 inches (15 cm) long. Liberally drizzle the veal breast slices with olive oil and season with Maldon salt. Put a spoonful of fava bean butter on each plate. Drape the veal breast slices down the middle of each plate, dividing evenly.
  8. Drizzle the veal breast with the veal jus and top with the peas, beans, and sprouts mixture. Put a few small spoonfuls of the coffee-cardmom “soil” in the empty spots on each plate.
  9. Spread the grilled bread with the fava bean butter and divide among the plates. Top each piece with a fava bean and 3 fava bean flowers. Serve right away.
Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
2 1/2 hours plus 24 hours for refrigeration
Cooking Time: 
14 hours
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