Braised Veal Cheeks Scallops

2008 May/Jun


  • 2 lbs veal cheeks, cleaned *
  • 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 c. red wine
  • 6 c. veal stock, available at the stock & sauce Co., Calgary Farmers’ Market or The Cookbook Co., or use chicken stock
  • 16 large scallops
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Cauliflower purée (recipe follows)


Season veal cheeks with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, sear veal cheeks over high heat, remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, covered, sweat onions, carrots and celery, then deglaze with red wine. Line the bottom of a large ovenproof casserole dish with the onion mixture. Place seared veal cheeks on top. Pour enough veal or chicken stock over to just cover the veal cheeks. Place lid on casserole and cook the cheeks in a preheated 300°F oven for 3 hours 15 minutes. Remove from oven, remove veal checks, and set aside. Strain off braising liquid and reduce by half. Reserve.

Chef’s Presentation Suggestion
If you are able to find caul fat, this makes an impressive variation:
Shred the veal cheeks by hand in a mixing bowl. Incorporate your reduced braising liquid into the shredded veal cheeks. Spread this mixture evenly 2 inches high over a baking sheet. Place another baking sheet of same size on top and weigh down with some heavy pans. Refrigerate over night. The next day, invert the baking sheet to release the shredded cheeks and cut the now-solid veal cheek into cubes and wrap in caul fat. Before serving, place in the oven to reheat at 400°F for 7 minutes.

* Veal cheeks weigh about 4 ounces each and there are 4 – 5 per pound. Pre-order them at a butcher like Second to None and Bon Ton. The butcher can clean them for you, which is just removing the silverskin and the fat around the edges. Caul fat needs to be rinsed beforehand and you can pre-order it from a butcher.)


Cauliflower Purée

  • 1 lb cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3 c. whipping cream
  • 2 T. truffle oil


Place cauliflower in a saucepan, cover with cream and simmer on medium heat until cauliflower is tender. Strain off cream and reserve. Place cauliflower in a food processor and purée, adding enough cream so that the cauliflower is silky smooth but still thick. Pass through a food mill, if desired, to remove any lumps. Set aside and keep warm. When ready to serve, reheat the veal cheeks with braising liquid and keep warm.

Heat a large skillet on high heat for scallops. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and add olive oil to the hot pan. Season scallops with salt and sear on high heat for approx. 2 – 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn scallop over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from pan and place on paper towels. Add truffle oil to cauliflower purée.

To Serve: place 4 generous spoonfuls of the cauliflower purée on each plate. Place veal cheeks on cauliflower purée. Place seared scallops atop veal cheeks, finish with a small amount of braising liquid drizzled over each plate. Serves 4.