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Barbecued veal, macaroni cheese, spinach and watercress


For the veal
  • 1 x 800g/1lb 12oz veal best end, deboned and tied (you can ask your butcher to do this)

For the parsley jelly
  • 500g/1lb 2oz parsley

  • 20g/½oz vegetarian setting agent (such as Vege-Gel)

For the spinach and watercress purée
For the rosemary and garlic cream macaroni
For the sweetbread ‘popcorn’
For the garnish

Preparation method

  1. For the veal, preheat the oven to 80C/175F/Gas ¼. Place the veal in a roasting tray and slow roast for 45 minutes.

  2. For the parsley jelly, blanch the parsley in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5-6 minutes, then quickly plunge into a bowl of iced water to refresh (reserving the cooking water for later). Put the parsley in a food processor and blend to a purée. Take 260g/9½oz of the purée and add to a pan along with 540ml/18½fl oz of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the vegetarian setting agent and stir in well before bringing the mixture to the boil. Once boiling, pour the mixture into a flat container so the jelly is roughly 1cm/½in deep and set in the fridge for an hour.

  3. For the spinach and watercress purée, melt the butter in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, then add the spinach and watercress. Cook for a further 8-10 minutes, season to taste with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and add a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from the pan and press into a fine sieve to remove excess liquid. Then place on a clean tea towel and wring to remove any residual moisture. Blend in a food processor, before adding the parmesan and seasoning to taste with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Set aside to cool.

  4. Remove the veal from the oven and set aside to rest for 45 minutes.

  5. For the rosemary and garlic cream macaroni, preheat the grill to a medium heat. Put the whipping cream, garlic and rosemary in a pan on a medium heat. Reduce by roughly half, taking care not to let the cream split, add the parmesan and stir through until incorporated. Season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and set aside. Cook the macaroni pasta following packet instructions until al dente and fold through the rosemary and garlic cream.

  6. Place the spinach and watercress purée into the bottom of a small baking dish, then top with the macaroni and pat down, place under the grill and cook on a medium heat until the top is golden-brown. Keep warm until ready to serve.

  7. Remove the parsley jelly from the fridge, cut into 7x7cm/3x3in squares and set aside for serving.

  8. For the sweetbread ‘popcorn’, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the sweetbreads, blanch them for 10 seconds then quickly plunge into iced water to stop them cooking.

  9. Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180C/350F, or heat vegetable oil in a deep-sided, heavy bottomed pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden-brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  10. Carefully pull off the outer membrane of each sweetbread using your hands, then roughly dice. Take out three plates, put the flour on one, lightly whisk the egg and pour onto another, then mix the rosemary through the breadcrumbs and place on the third. Dust the sweetbreads in the flour, dip into the egg and roll in the breadcrumbs to coat. Deep fry at 180C/350F for 4 minutes.

  11. Just before serving, set your griddle pan on a high heat or, if using a barbecue, turn up to full. Char the veal on all sides, turning until coloured all over. Remove from the heat and carve into four portions.

  12. To serve, place a portion of the veal in the centre of each plate, add a square of parsley jelly to the side and top with a small handful of parsley cress, finish with a spoonful of the macaroni cheese on the opposite side on the plate along with a pile of sweetbread popcorn.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

1 to 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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Great British Menu 5. Scotland Judging bbc_two Great British Menu

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