Here’s a recipe that perfectly illustrates Food Perestroika’s mission. Its Eastern European character is visible in the ingredients and the preparation: with the Mangalica lardo, the chanterelles, the corn, and the faux ravioli, we’re somewhere between Hungary and Ukraine. And yet these elements have been rearranged into a new, original dish.
The Mangalica breed of pig, the only kind with long, curly hair, is especially popular in Hungary. It is descended directly from wild boar, and is renowned for producing large and round animals well suited for making lard. To form the ravioli, you will need to find either lardo that is wide enough, or very fatty bacon — I bought mine at Eataly.
Lazy Boris’ Corner:
If you replace the ground veal with more braised veal meat, the texture of the ravioli filling will be less interesting but still delicious.
In the corn purée (a recipe inspired by what we did at Danube), you can save an hour by substituting water for the corn stock.
Braised veal and stock
Yields about 6 servings plus some leftover meat
1 lb veal osso buco (shank)
black pepper, ground
2 oz peeled carrot, large dice
2 oz peeled celery root, large dice
4 oz peeled onion, large dice
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 thyme sprigs
4 oz red wine
14 oz water
- Season the veal with salt and pepper. Sauté with olive oil in a small oven-safe pot over high heat until brown on all sides, then set aside.
- In the same pot, cook the carrot, celery root, onion, and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme, clove, and red wine, and simmer until reduced by half. Add the water and the meat, bring back to a simmer, and cover with a lid slightly ajar. Cook in a 200 F oven for 6 hours, until very tender. Let cool.
- Take out the veal from the liquid, remove the bones, and reserve the meat with the bone marrow.
- Pass the stock through a chinois and reserve.
Yields about 6 servings
2 ears of corn
12 oz water
1/2 oz butter
- Separate the kernels from the corn cobs, and reserve.
- Cut the bare corn cobs in halves, and place into a small saucepan with the water. Cover with a lid, and boil over medium heat for one hour.
- Pass the corn stock through a chinois and discard the cobs. At this point, you should have about 7.5 oz kernels and 5 oz stock — make sure you keep this ratio.
- Place the kernels and the stock in the saucepan, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender, add the butter and salt, and process until smooth. Pass the purée through a chinois, and reserve.
Yields about 6 servings
stock from braised veal
1 oz peeled scallion whites, thinly sliced
1/2 oz butter
3 oz ground veal
3 oz braised veal meat
paper-thin slices of Mangalica lardo or very fatty bacon (for amount, see below)
5 oz cleaned chanterelles
1 tbsp extra-light olive oil
2 tbsp thinly sliced scallion greens
- In a saucepan over high heat, reduce the stock from the braised veal to 2 oz, and reserve.
- In a small saucepan, saute the scallion whites in the butter over medium heat until transluscent. Add the ground veal, and cook until barely done, stirring regularly. Shred the braised veal meat into small pieces (for the mathematicians, that’s about 0.25″), stir into the saucepan with the reduced stock, and cook over low heat until the liquid has evaporated but the mixture still looks very moist.
- Cut the lardo or bacon slices into 1.5″ x 2″ rectangles. This is what determines how many slices you need for the recipe — you need to be able to cut 6 such rectangles per serving. You can cut some pieces slightly longer and use them for the top layers.
- Reheat the corn purée in a saucepan.
- Sauté the chanterelles in the olive oil in a pan over high heat, season with salt, and cook until soft. Sprinkle with the scallion greens.
- Assemble the “ravioli” on warm plates: place one rectangle of lardo on the plate, top with some veal mixture, and cover with another rectangle (slightly larger if possible). Repeat for additional ravioli. Finish plating with the corn purée and the mushrooms.