Grilled Veal Chops With Sweet-And-Sour Onions
I first tasted this dish made with veal loin chops (aka T-bones), but you could also use rib chops. Select chops that are 1 to 1¼ inches thick.
Baby torpedo onions (elongated red onions), cipollinis (small, flat, round onions), pearl onions – or any small whole onions or shallots will work well here. Exotic onions are available from Melissa’s. Although it’s not strictly traditional, a few years ago I took to grilling the onions before simmering them in the wine and balsamic vinegar. This takes a little more time (although you can grill the onions at a previous grill session), but it gives the sauce an incredible depth of flavor. Brush the onions with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill over a hot fire until browned on the outside but still firm inside, 4 to 6 minutes per side. (Raichlen, Steven. “Grilled Veal Chops with Sweet-And-Sour Onions.” Secrets of the World’s Best Grilling. New York: Workman Publishing, 2012. 28. iPad.)
Find this recipe and more from Steven Raichlen in Secrets of the World’s Best Grilling
1 lb small torpedo onions, cipollinis, pearl onions, or shallots (see Comments)
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
1 cup honey, or more to taste
4 TBSP (½ stick) unsalted butter
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
4 thick loin ro rib veal chops, each1 to 1¼ inches thick and 12 to 14 ounces (see Comments)
1 TBSP chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1. Peel onions, leaving most of the stem end intact; this helps hold the onions together as they cook. Place the onions in a large, deep saucepan, add the red wine, balsamic vinegar, honey, and 3 tablespoons of the butter and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduced the heat to medium and cook the onions until tender–they’ll be easy to pierce with a skewer–12-15 minutes. If all goes well, the wine, vinegar, and honey will cook down to a syrupy glaze at precisely the same moment the onions are tender. If not, using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a plate and continue boiling the sauce until it is thick and syrupy. Return the onions to the pan, if necessary and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste and more vinegar and/or honey as necessary; the onions should be a little sweet, a little sour, and very flavorful. If you add more vinegar and/or honey, return the pan to the heat to let the liquid cook down. You should wind up with about 1¼ cups. The onions can be cooked several hours, or even a day, ahead and reheated just before serving.
3. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat one zone to high.
4. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Generously season the chops on both sides with salt and ppper. (Steven’s notes: Ok, I know they add the salt after grilling in Tuscany and they don’t bother with pepper. But I still maintain you get a better crust when you season the meat just prior to grilling.) Arrange the veal chops on hot grate at a diagonal to the bars. Grill the chops until nicely browned on the outside and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium. Use the poke test to test for doneness. Give each chop a quarter turn after 2½ minutes on each side to create a handsome crosshatch of grill marks.
5. Transfer the chops to a platter or plates and let them rest while you reheat the onion mixture. Just before serving, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Spoon the onions over the chops and sprinkle the parley, if using, on top. Serve the chops at once.