Mongolian Veal Chops
The marinade for the veal goes great with pork chops and chicken breasts as well. I love the incredible flavor these chops get from the smoke and wood, but to get that crispy texture that I love in grilled chops, I take them off the plank at the end of the cooking time and grill them briefly on the grate over high flames. Delicious!
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Tree Nut Free
Taste and TextureSalty, Savory, Spiced
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup plum sauce
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili paste (I use sambal oelek)
- 4 (8-ounce) bone-In veal loin chops, about 1 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
Soak the plank for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
In a large bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, plum sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, onion powder, and chili paste. Add the veal chops and turn them to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Let the veal chops sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
Prepare the plank for grilling according to the instructions (see Notes). Remove the veal chops from the marinade and place them on the toasted side of the plank. Close the lid and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135 degrees F for medium-rare or 140 degrees F for medium. Transfer the veal chops from the plank to the grill grate right above the high flames and, with the lid open, grill for 30 seconds on each side, or until crispy. Transfer the veal chops to a platter and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions.
Soaking the Plank
Start by using a clean, untreated piece of wood. Most of the wood planks sold in stores are 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Be sure to choose a plank that allows at least a 1-inch border around the food you are preparing. No matter the size, plan on soaking your plank for at least one hour, and up to twenty-four hours. This important step adds moisture that helps the wood to resist burning, which prolongs the use of your plank.
Place the plank in a kitchen sink, cooler, glass or ceramic baking dish, or any container large enough to fit it for soaking.
Soak the plank in water, or if you feel like being creative, try adding some white wine, beer, salt, or apple, berry, or citrus juice to the water.
Keep the plank submerged with something heavy, like a brick, so it stays weighted down during soaking.
Preheating the Plank
Preheating the plank before grilling is an important step. With woods like maple, oak, cherry, and alder, the plank will often begin to warp when placed over heat (cedar does not usually warp). Preheating the plank will control the warping, kill any bacteria on the cooking surface, and impart a more intense flavor to the food.
Before preheating the plank, have a spray bottle with water handy to smolder any flames if flare-ups occur.
For a gas grill, preheat your grill to medium-high, or about 400 degrees F. For a charcoal grill, prepare your grill for indirect cooking: Fill a chimney starter (charcoal chimney) to the top with charcoal. Light the charcoal and let it burn until half of the coals are glowing. Spread the coals onto half of the bottom of the grill, leaving the other side without coals (this is called the “indirect method”). Place the grill lid on top and fully open the top and bottom vents. If your grill does not have a thermometer, place a grill thermometer through one of the vent openings and let it sit for 5 minutes to get an accurate reading. If the grill gets too hot, close the vents partially and let the temperature adjust. Continue making adjustments to the vent openings until the grill reaches a consistent temperature of 400 degrees F.
For optimum smoke and wood flavor, place the plank 8 to 12 inches above the flame and close the grill lid. I prefer to place a plank on the warming rack of my gas grill for preheating and grilling. It takes a little longer to get it lightly toasted and get some smoke going (8 to 10 minutes), but it reduces the number of flare-ups so that you will get more uses out of the plank. If the plank is placed closer to the flame, you should see some light \ smoke after 3 to 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the grill if the plank is closer to the flame.
Once you see some light wisps of gray smoke emanating from the grill, open the grill lid and flip the plank over. If the plank has not bowed, you are ready to begin grilling. If warping occurs, close the lid again and continue preheating another minute or two until the plank flattens out. Continue flipping and heating the plank one or two more times until warping is controlled.
2014 Dana Guillen