Pan Roasting - A Cooking Technique Used By the Pros
I recently read an article about pan roasting and how professional cooks use this technique all the time in restaurants.
Just a handful of years ago, I couldn’t find any reference to pan roasting in any of my cook books, but these days it is a very popular technique. It’s popular for good reason, too. Pan roasting is a two-part cooking technique.
First, you sear the meat on all sides on the stove top, and then you finish cooking it by roasting in the oven. Because of the intense heat on the stove, the meat is done much more quickly than if you had started it in the oven.
Aside from saving some time, it is also much easier to develop a deeply caramelized crust on whatever you’re roasting, again thanks to the heat of the stove top.
If you’ve never experimented with pan roasting, I encourage you to give it a try. Use it for thick chops, as in this recipe, or for any larger cut of meat.
A chef friend of mine was kind enough to share this recipe with me, both to illustrate the technique of pan roasting and because it tastes so good.
Check out my Pan Roast page for some additional tips.
Equipment You Want To Have On Hand
- Heavy-bottomed sauce pan
- Heavy-bottomed, oven-proof sauté pan (or cast iron skillet)
- Chef knife
- Cutting board
- Metal or other heat proof spatula/turner
- Instant Read Thermometer
Pan Roasted Veal Chops
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot
- 3 medium leeks whites and a little of the green
- ½ cup of veal stock or beef stock
- 2 thick veal chops
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Remove chops from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to let them come up to room temperature. Pat them dry.
- Slice and thoroughly wash the leeks. They grow in very sandy soil, and sand and dirt can get trapped in all the layers of leaves, so make sure to rinse them several times.
- Roughly chop the leeks.
- Mince shallot and thyme.
- Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and sweat the shallot and leeks over low heat covered for approx. 10-12 minutes. They should be very soft and translucent but not take on any color.
- Turn the heat up to medium, and add the veal/beef stock. Simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes, then re-cover and set aside. The leek/shallot mixture should be moist but not swimming in stock at this point.
- Meanwhile, heat your oven proof pan over medium-high heat for three or four minutes.
- Add the canola oil and heat until the oil shimmers.
- Season the veal chops with salt and pepper and cook over med-high heat for approx. 3 minutes until browned.
- Flip the chops over and cook for another minute, then slide the oven proof pan into the hot oven for 6-9 minutes, depending on how you like your meat done. (See my meat doneness chart)
- While the chops are roasting in the oven, add the thyme to the shallot and leeks, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat to warm up.
- To serve, spoon half the onion/leek mixture onto each plate, then set the veal chops on top of the mixture and serve.
Do you really need 3 medium leeks? Leeks are so big especially for 2 servings, could you only use 1 large one?
Michelle, I guess when I made this my medium leeks were not as big as the ones you are referring to so yes, go with one large one if you like. I guess I love leeks so I got carried away. - RG
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! My fiance came home with veal chops and I had no idea how to prepare them. I followed your recipe and they turned out to be so delicious! I will definitely be making these again soon!
That was easy and delicious! Thanks for posting!
Can you brown the veal chops beforehand and then cook in the oven later? I would assume that you could saute the leeks and later season and warm up.
G. Stephen Jones
Susan, I suppose you could do both but I'm not sure why you would want to. The browning takes minutes so I'm not sure how much time you are saving. Same with the leeks but if you do try this at home, please let me know how it turns out.
I don't know how well that would work. I have a feeling the chops might get overcooked or tough. The reason browning and immediately pan roasting works so well is: 1)that the chops are seared which locks in the moisture. If you let them sit after searing, some juices will run out which will tend to make the chops dry. And 2) by putting them in the oven in a hot pan right after searing, there's already heat which combines with the heat from the oven to cook them nicely. If you put a seared but cool chop in the oven, you're no longer "pan roasting," you're just baking and the quality won't be as good.
G. Stephen Jones
Cathy, if you are just browning the meat, it will barely cook them internally so I don't think there should be concern about them overcooking. The idea of searing meat to keep in the moisture is not true. I have preached this myself for years and you may even find it on some of my earlier pages but I have come to learn it's just not so. You even say it yourself, "if you let them sit after searing, some juices will run out". If the moister is locked in, why would any moisture leak out. I need to write an updated post about this idea soon. I also don't agree that putting a cool chop in the oven constitutes baking. While roasting and baking are almost identical methods of dry heat cooking, the terms roasting and baking apply to two different kinds of foods. See my post - http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/baking-or-roasting-you-decide/
So like I say in my first response, I don't think it will matter but there really is no reason to since it takes so little time.
can I pre fry the chops. About an hour before they go in the oven??
The Reluctant Gourmet
Good question Lynne. I have seen chefs sear steaks to get grill marks in preparation for a big night and I imagine caters who are cooking for 50 people or more may pre-cook some food items but I would not personally pre-fry the veal chops an hour before they go into the oven. Veal chops are so expensive and so tender that I wouldn't want to take the chance of messing them up by precooking. It's hard enough to get them right without stopping and starting the cooking process. If you do try precooking, please let me know how they turn out.
Fabulous recipe. Substituted some scallions growing in my garden for the leaks. Best veal chops ever.Great technique for the base. Thanks
I had two veal chops I started in an unsafe oven skillet. I had all the dry ingredients onto both sides of chops. I added pablo crumbs with extra virgin olive oil already in the pan. Searching for a recipe quickly I had transferred the golden bloods chops into a square dark cooking pan added the butter, chicken broth and red wine. Then I found your recipe. Eh, not perfected according to recipe bit on the same road sort of. They took a few minutes. Were delicious, tender and I had to hold myself back from eating the other. I covered the lone chop and plan on warming on low tomorrow. I only hope it tastes as great as it did tonight. The aroma throughout my house smells absolutely scrumptious!!