Poached Veal Knuckle with Braised Gem Lettuce, Porcini Mushrooms and Ham

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Veal Knuckles

Saw off the knuckles just before the joints and remove the nerves from the surface. Scrape the bones, being careful not to detach too much meat.

Heat some oil in a sauté pan. Season the knuckles with fleur de sel and sear on all sides until golden brown. Remove from the pot and place on a rack.

Peel, wash and drain the vegetables, leaving them whole. Peel the clove of garlic, slice in two and remove the germ.

Put the knuckles, carrot, celery, thyme, garlic, peppercorns, onion and the cold veal stock into a sous-vide bag. Seal the bag (pressure 2.8 seal 6.5). Cook for 24 hours in 144°F (62°C) water.

Step 2: Vegetables

Remove any dirt from the stems of the porcini mushrooms. Brush under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Slice in two lengthwise.

Wash the potatoes under cold running water. Drain, dry with a clean dry dishcloth, and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes into 1/5 inch (5 mm) slices and wash to remove all the starch.

Remove the leaves from the lettuce, leaving only the ribs and making sure to remove any surplus green parts. Wash and drain.

Cut 4 thin slices of Jabugo ham and cut each slice into 2 inch (5 cm) sided triangles.

Melt the duck fat in a large sauté pan. Add the pork belly, 3 crushed cloves of unpeeled garlic, and the sprig of thyme. Once the fat has melted and is nicely flavored, place the potatoes in the sauté pan in one layer. Sprinkle some salt on the porcini mushrooms and place them, cut side down, in a layer on top of the potatoes. Stew over a low heat.

Once the potatoes are cooked, remove the fat from the sauté pan. Put the porcini mushrooms back in the pan, and cook for ten minutes so that they absorb any remaining fat.

Step 3: Finishing

Place the bags containing the knuckles in 140°F (60°C) water for 30 minutes to reheat. Remove the knuckles from the bags and place in a sauté pan. Strain the braising stock into a saucepan.

Bring the braising stock to a boil, and boil for five minutes, skimming occasionally to remove the albumin. Filter and pour over the knuckles. Glaze the knuckles in the oven at 430°F (220°C), then remove and place on a rack.

Add the veal stock to the sauté pan, reduce until thickened, add some aged wine vinegar and filter through a chinois.

Heat some olive oil in another sauté pan and sear the triangles of ham and the lettuce. Drain in a stainless steel rack.

Step 4: Plating

Plate a bed of the potatoes, porcini mushrooms and lettuce in a circle. Slice the veal knuckle into three even slices and place on top. Drizzle the reduced veal stock over the top of the dish. Serve immediately,

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits