Antoine was born in Mauritania but came to France as a child. He attended the hotel school of Saint-Quentin (Yvelines) and was taken on by Alain Passard as rôtisseur, where he attained his in-depth knowledge of meat. He believes wholeheartedly in respect for meat and product safety, as well as consistent quality from producers who always try to meet the chef’s requirements. For Antoine, veal epitomises delicacy, texture and flavour. “You really need to have a top level of craftsmanship to treat veal with the respect it deserves. It needs to be treated with utmost precision.” Less revered parts do not have to detract from the exalted reputation of veal. The following recipe is perfect proof.
Blanch the shanks, cover with the four allspice leaves and wrap everything in caul fat. Grill for 5 hours, as you would ribs. Zest a lemon, wash and cut the vegetables but cook each vegetable separately in salted water with some lemon. Leave to cool and set to one side. To make a glaze, brown the veal trimmings in some olive oil and add the shallots. Fill the pan with water to half way and simmer for 90 minutes. Strain with a sieve and reduce. Glaze the vegetables in semi-salted butter, sprinkle with the very finely-ground lemon zest and the finely-chopped herbs. Season to taste with fleur de sel and pepper. Place the shanks in the middle of a platter and garnish with vegetables. Serve the sauce separately.