Recipe from the Dallas Wine and Food Festival featured in “Taste of the Town” April 2002 issue of Texas Monthly
6 five-ounce portions veal tenderloin (veal chop with bone cut off is cheaper but more fatty and not quite as tender)
8 slices smoked bacon
olive oil as needed
1 yellow onion, minced
1 large carrot, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
6 cups frozen black-eyed peas or 3 cups dried black-eyed peas
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/8 cup fresh tarragon, picked
zest of one lemon
1/2 head frisée lettuce, washed and picked
Take six pieces of veal tenderloin and six pieces of the smoked bacon and wrap the outside of the meat with the bacon. Secure the bacon around the veal by tying the butcher’s twine around the bacon. Reserve the veal for later cooking.
In a medium saucepot over moderate heat, add approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the olive oil is lightly smoking, add the remaining 2 pieces of sliced bacon, onion, carrot, and celery. Lightly sauté until the onions become translucent.
Once the onions are translucent, add the black-eyed peas and lightly toast them for about 3 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of white wine and reduce it until it has evaporated.
Add the water, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a simmer. (Its very important not to boil the beans, boiling will cause the beans to break apart.) Simmer the beans until tender, about 1 1/2 hours or more (for the dried ones). Once the beans are tender, strain them through the colander, saving the liquid, and cool. Discard the bay leaf and thyme.
Take the remaining bean cooking liquid and place it in a small sauce pot and reduce by half. Once reduced, add the heavy cream and reduce another half. (The bean cooking liquid makes the sauce for the dish.)
Season the reserved veal with salt and pepper to taste and sear in a medium sauté pan on high heat. Once all sides are seared, reduce heat to low and cook to desired temperature, about 6 minutes to a side for medium. Turn once after searing. Reserve.
In a medium sauté pan on high, heat a small amount of olive oil until lightly smoking. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms and reserve.
Take the cooked black-eyed peas and sauce mixture and place in a medium sauté pan. Heat on low heat, then add the garlic, red bell pepper, tarragon leaves, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to desired taste and reserve. Lightly warm very briefly the frisée greens in a medium sauté pan with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Do just before serving or it will wilt. Reserve.
Assembly: Place the black-eyed pea mixture in the center of the plate with a small amount of liquid with the beans, being careful not to flood the plate with sauce. Then place the shiitake mushrooms on top of the beans. Next place the veal tenderloin atop the shiitakes and garnish the veal with the warm frisée greens.
Note: For ease of your preparation, the beans and the sauce may be made a day ahead and refrigerated until needed.