The ribeye is one of my favorite steaks. It makes sense then, that the veal rib chop—basically a young, bone-in ribeye—would be one of the best things I have ever eaten. Veal has had a slightly controversial past. However, I am told by multiple foodie friends and butchers that the conditions for young calves have improved greatly over the past few years; it's okay to eat veal again. Which is great because it's delicious.
1. Purchase some veal rib chops. This may not be an easy task. Veal is not as popular as it used to be back before everyone became convinced to stop eating it because of the poor living conditions of the calves. Those conditions have been majorly improved, and veal's popularity is on the rise. Hopefully you'll be able to find veal at the co-op, butcher, or specialty foods store. It may be frozen or you may have to special order it.
2. Season the veal rib chops to cook. Veal is perhaps the most tender and delicious meat that you will eat, so season it simply with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Try one of the many variations (listed at the right) using different types of salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to its highest possible setting, 500 or 550.
3. Pan-fry the veal rib chops. Heat a heavy-bottom frying pan on medium high heat for a couple minutes. Melt a small amount of butter, less than a tablespoon, in the pan right where the rib chops will be frying. As soon as the butter is melted and browns a little, lay the rib chops down in the pan. Fry them for 4 minutes before checking on the darkness of the down-facing side.
4. Finish cooking the veal rib chops in the oven. After the first side of the veal rib chop is nice and dark (around 4‒5 minutes), flip it over and fry the second side for 2 minutes. Then put the whole thing, pan and all, into the preheated oven, uncovered. Roast in the oven until they are done to your preference. For rare chops: 120‒125, medium rare: 130‒140, medium: 140‒150, medium well: 150‒160, well-done: 160+ degrees Fahrenheit.
Buy veal that looks fresh, smells good, and was raised responsibly.
Some veal rib chops come with Frenched rib bones, meaning the flesh is scraped off. It looks really cool, but I think the meat attached to the rib is very tasty, so I leave it on.
Let the veal rib chops warm to almost room temperature before you cook them; this should take an hour or two.
Season the veal rib chops just before you cook them.
Season the veal rib chops with salt and pepper only, to preserve the delicate tender flavor of veal.
Let the veal rib chops rest for 10‒15 minutes before you eat them to keep them from drying out.
As the chops rest, make a quick pan-sauce by reducing equal parts wine and dark stock in the same pan in which you cooked the chops.