Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Grilled Veal Chops with Smoking Rosemary



  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Method: Direct grilling
  • Equipment: wood chunks or chips (optional); a blowtorch
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  • 4 veal tomahawk chops (each 1 to 1-1/4 pounds and 1-1/2 inches thick) or thick-cut conventional veal chops
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and cracked or freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1 Meyer lemon or conventional lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more oil for drizzling

1 large bunch rosemary:

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary (strip the leaves off the stems and chop)
  • 3 branches, tied together, ends cut off to make a rosemary basting brush
  • 4 branches fresh rosemary for flambeing

Step 1: Arrange the veal chops on a rimmed baking sheet. Generously season each side with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. Using a Microplane, grate the lemon zest over the veal chops on both sides. Drizzle 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over the chops on both sides. Let the chops marinate while you make the basting sauce and light the grill.

Step 2: Place the other 1/4 cup olive oil in a bowl. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and mix with a fork.

Step 3: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Step 4: Arrange the chops on the grill running diagonal to the bars of the grate. Grill until the chops are sizzling and browned on the bottom, giving each chop a quarter turn after 2 minutes to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. Turn the chops after 3 to 4 minutes and grill the other side the same way. After 3 minutes of grilling, brush the veal chops with the olive oil-lemon juice mixture using the tied rosemary sprigs as a basting brush. Baste often.

Step 5: Continue grilling the veal until both sides are sizzling and browned and the internal temperature is around 145 to 150 degrees F (for veal with a blush of pink in the center; go a little longer for medium veal). Alternatively, use the poke test: The veal will feel gently yielding when pressed with your finger. Total cooking time will be 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare veal; 4 to 5 minutes for medium veal.

Step 6: Transfer the veal chops to a heatproof platter and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Lay a branch of fresh rosemary on each chop. At the table, in front of your guests, light a blowtorch. Direct the flame towards the rosemary branches atop the veal. Burn until the leaves singe, releasing a fragrant rosemary smoke. Remove the rosemary with tongs before serving.

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