October 2021 | Guest Blog, Recipes

Exclusive Recipe by Chef Vish: Braised Veal Cheek

A recipe to pair with LaStella’s Maestoso “Solo” Merlot by Chef Vish!

Written by Chef Vish 


Maestoso “Solo” Merlot in my opinion deserves a meat that carries its fattiness through the whole eating experience – the veal cheek; while complimenting the fruitiness from the wine and balancing the tannins in the wine along with a pickled/sharp aspect in the dish, in this case the pickled Chanterelles. (Use beef cheeks if veal cheeks not available or preferred)


Braised Veal Cheek with Arancini Croquette, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Cipollini Onions Recipe:

For the Braised Veal Cheek

  • 2 veal cheeks
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 1 onion
  • 30ml balsamic
  • 1L beef stock
  • 20ml cooking wine
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 15gms garlic
  • Salt & Pepper according to taste

Clean the veal cheeks for excess fat and season generously with salt and pepper on all sides. In a thick bottom pan or cast iron, sear the cheeks until nice and brown.

Take the cheeks out and add roughly chopped carrots, onions, celery and garlic and sear till evenly brown.

Deglaze the pan with red wine.

In a larger pot pour the liquid with the vegetables, add the veal cheeks, beef stock, the herbs and bay leaf and let it sit on low flame for about 2 hours.

Check the cheeks and once they are about to get tender, add the balsamic and let simmer for another 30-45 until completely tender.

Once tender to the fork, remove the cheeks and strain the liquid and reduce for 50%.

Season the sauce and use this to glaze the cheeks before serving


For Saffron Arancini Croquettes

  • 100gms Arborio rice
  • 4gm Saffron
  • 25gms Pecorino Cheese
  • 25gms Parmesan Cheese
  • 1.5L Chicken stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 250gms Butter
  • 30gms shallots
  • 50gms bread crumbs
  • 40gms flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for frying

Start with melting butter in a pan and sweat the shallots without getting any colour in it.

Toast the rice until well coated with butter for about 2 minutes and add saffron.

Stir for another 30-45 seconds and slowly start adding chicken stock into the pan and work the rice  (stir constantly) with a wooden spoon.

As you see the rice absorbing the stock keep adding the stock and stirring. Once most of the liquid is in (you might not need all of it) add both the cheeses in and fold it in. The risotto should be pale yellow in colour and have a loose consistency.

Season accordingly with salt and pepper. (Keep in mind both the cheeses will add saltiness to it)

Cool the risotti on a pan or tray in the fridge.

Once cooled down, shape them into croquettes and bread them with flour, egg and bread crumbs. Let them sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before frying.

Heat oil in a pan and shallow or deep fry these as per preference until golden brown on each side.

If shallow frying make sure you are turning the croquettes and every 45 seconds to get even colour.

Remove on a tray lined with a paper towel until serving.


For Pickled Chanterelles 

  • 30gms white onions
  • 15gms parsley
  • 40ml white wine
  • 40ml white wine vinegar
  • 30ml Neutral Oil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 100gms Chanterelles
  • 2 sprig Thyme
  • Salt to taste

In a pan, heat oil and sweat the onions. Add Chanterelles and sweat until the water evaporates and deglaze with white wine and white wine vinegar. Add bay leaf , thyme and chopped parsley. Simmer for 10 mins and turn heat off.

Let sit in liquid until needed.


For Cipollini Onions

  • 4-5 Cipollini onions
  • 50ml Braising liquid from the cheeks
  • 20gms Butter
  • 15ml Olive oil

Take a small pan and start melting the butter on low heat. Clean the cipollini onions and add to the butter. Sweat them on low heat to start, add olive oil and turn the heat up.

Once they start to brown add the braising liquid and braise on low heat for 15 mins until the onions are tender. Keep warm.


To Plate

Glaze the cheek with the braising glaze and place it in the centre of the plate. Place the warm croquette to the left of the cheek and place some pickled chanterelles around the croquettes. Pour some more sauce around the cheek. Garnish with fresh herbs or nasturtium leaves if available.

If preferred add a mixture of breadcrumb, chives and parmesan cheese on the cheek to finish plating for some texture.

In addition to this, you can also add some mustard on the plate for some heat.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes!