The number 93 is not favoured by Parisians, as a number on a car’s license plate for instance. This is because the number is synonymous with the Départment Seine- St. Denis, a suburb of Paris that has less than a positive reputation. So one has to be pretty brave to call their restaurant number 93! For Stéphane Reynaud, simply another challenge. We had met Stéphane before when he impressed us with his rack of veal in a salted crust so that we would include him in this book! So what does he think of veal: “Veal is possibly the most difficult meat when it comes to quality. There is most definitely run-of-the-mill meat on the market and I can’t stand run-of-the-mill. I have been known to sell my rib of veal at cost price, purely because I like to see my guests enjoying it.” Whilst he loves the prime parts of this meat, he adores the less appealing parts. “The interaction of the flavours when the food is prepared slowly, and low temperatures, mesmerises me.” The tail for example, can be roasted slowly for seven hours before it is served. This is also done with veal shanks: “This gelatinous, lean meat keeps its attractive structure when prepared like this. The veal shoulder is another beautiful cut. I use it for my fricassee because the leanness of the meat combines perfectly with the creaminess of the sauce we serve.” In contrast, there are meats that are not meant for slow cooking. “The fillet calls for precision and speed in order for it to stay juicy.” The chef tells us about the reason why we are here: the rack of veal: “I roast the meat in a salted crust. The crust is opened at the table so the room fills with wonderful aromas. Nine out of ten people who haven’t placed their order yet, immediately want a rack of veal as well. It’s my bestseller.”
Chop the garlic, the ginger, the parsley and the shallots the day before and blend with olive oil. Rub this mixture into the rack of veal, wrap in plastic food wrap and leave to marinate overnight. Create a bed of sea salt in a roasting pan. Place the veal on top and cover with sea salt. Press together firmly and bake in the oven for 90 minutes at 150°C/300°F. Break open the crust at the table; carve the meat on a wooden board and serve with salad of baby spinach leaves.