Rack of Quebec Grain-Fed Veal with a Crisp Chestnut Crust, and Whisky and Maple Sauce

Type of cut: racks

Yield: 6 servings

Degree of difficulty: chef

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 1 hour

Cooking method: roasting




  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 rack of Quebec Grain-Fed Veal, 6 ribs
  • Salt and pepper
Chestnut Crust
  • Butter, as needed
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 60 g (2 oz) butter
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh thyme, chopped
  • 440 ml (1 tin) of whole raw chestnuts
  • 6 slices of crustless white bread, finely chopped
  • 2 egg whites
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter, as needed
  • 440 ml (1 tin) of whole raw chestnuts
Whisky and Maple Sauce
  • Butter, as needed
  • 6 shallots, chopped
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) Canadian whisky
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) maple syrup
  • 310 ml (1 1/4 cup) veal stock
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) 35% cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) dried cranberries


  1. Oven temperature: 180°C (350°F).
  2. Heat about 45 ml (3 tbsp) oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Brown the rack of veal in the skillet for a few minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper. Place the curved side up. Cover exposed bones on the rack with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the chestnut crust. Drain the chestnuts and crush them. Heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme, and sweat for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Add the crushed chestnuts, bread crumbs, egg whites and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and blend well.
  4. After 40 minutes, remove the rack of veal from the oven. Discard the fat, and cover the top of the rack with the chestnut mixture.
  5. Place the rack of veal back in the oven for 20 minutes, or until well browned. The meat should still be slightly pink inside. A meat thermometer should read between 60 and 65°C (150°F) for medium-rare meat. Let rest for 20 minutes in the switched-off oven, with door ajar.
  6. Meanwhile, heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the whole chestnuts, and heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve. Place skillet back on heat and add a knob of butter. Toss in the shallots, and cook 2 minutes. Add the whisky, and cook 1 minute. Add the maple syrup and reduce by one third. Add veal stock, and reduce by one third again. Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste, and cook 2 minutes more.
  7. To serve, place the rack on a cutting board. Remove aluminum foil. Cut the rack between the ribs and arrange on plates. Spoon some whisky and maple syrup sauce over the rack. Garnish with the whole heated chestnuts and a few cranberries. Serve with your favourite vegetables, along with perhaps some truffle-enhanced mashed potatoes.

Wine pairing

© Société des alcools du Québec, Montréal, 2007, 2011