January 2007 Edition
St. Veronus Café and Taproom

Roland Hosier, Owner

St. Veronus Café and Taproom

Peterborough, ON

“Some of the ingredients are familar, but the flavoursare unique.”

 

Roland Hosier,

Owner

  

The St. Veronus Café and Taproom brings the flavours of Brussels

to Peterborough, Ontario. Diners can sample some of the traditional dishes of Belgium, such as waterzooi (a rich, creamy stew) and stoemp (a mashed potato and vegetable dish).

“Belgian food is not well known in Canada,” says owner Roland Hosier. “Some of the ingredients are familiar, but the flavours are unique.”

One of the distinguishing features of Belgian cooking is its frequent use of cuisine a la biere (cooking with beer). Close attention is also paid to matching beer and food, in the same manner than other cuisines match wine with food. The St. Veronus Café features over 50 beers (eleven on tap and approximately 40 imported bottled beers) on its menu.

Belgian cuisine and cuisine a la biere are the key themes of the café’s menu. Specialties include waterzooi of seafood, panini,house-made charcuterie, and of course mussels: moules et frites are served three different ways, with three different types of beer broths.

The warm and cold charcuterie platters (served with baguette, cheese and pickles) include such house specialties as rabbit, apricot and green peppercorn sausage, served with spicy tomato ginger jam; a Moroccan lamb, coriander and mint sausage with Hoegaarden (a type of beer), orange and cilantro marmalade; and a duck and tarragon terrine with Belle Vue Kriek (another beer) cherry sweet

and sour sauce.

St. Veronus is designed to look like an ‘Old Brown’ café, a style particular to Belgium and south Holland. The atmosphere is elegant and old world but relaxed and casual. The café’s kitchen, two dining rooms and bar area are housed in a very old building, and many of the existing architectural details were used in the restaurant’s design. St. Veronus is located in a neighbourhood known for its restaurants, and gets plenty of pedestrian traffic.

The café serves lunch Monday through Saturday, and dinner seven days a week. It also holds parties in its private function room, and does a limited amount of catering. St. Veronus opened its doors four and a half years ago, but doubled its size in a major reconstruction two years ago.

“We added a dining room and did a huge renovation of the kitchen over a period of three months,” Hosier says. Despite the challenges posed by the construction, the café was open for business almost constantly throughout the renovation. There were only three days during the construction that the café did not do service.

Chef Susan Houde has been with St. Veronus since it opened. She is in charge of ordering and menu design, as well as supervising staff. A self-taught Chef whose career choice was based on a love of food, Houde has been working in restaurant kitchens since age 13. At St. Veronus, her kitchen turns out house specialties such as Flemish Pork Tenderloin: an oven-roasted pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon and leeks, with a Belle Vue Kriek beer and roasted shallot demi glace, served with salad and stoemp.

St. Veronus has been a Sysco customer for four and a half years. During that time, the café has not only used Sysco as a supplier, but also made use of some of the other services that Sysco offers its customers, such as assistance with costing and sourcing.

“Sysco is a great partner,” Hosier says.

Flemish Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS                                 METRIC         IMPERIAL

Pork tenderloin                                 4 – 200 g        4 - 8 oz pieces

Leeks                                                 5                      5

Smoked bacon                                 454 g              1 lb

Canola oil                                          15 mL             1 Tbsp

Belle Vue Kriek Lambic beer         341 mL           12 oz

Roasted shallots                              2                      2

Garlic puree                                      15 mL             1 Tbsp

Molasses                                           15 mL             1 Tbsp

Brown sugar                                     23 mL             1 ½ Tbsp

Fresh or frozen cherries                 150 mL           5 oz 

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Remove the silver skin from the pork tenderloin and season

with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Reserve.

Separate the leek leaves and blanch the white and light green parts in salt water. Shock the leeks in ice water to maintain the vibrant colour.

Apply the blanched leeks lengthwise along the tenderloins and then wrap with smoked bacon. You will need about six strips of bacon per tenderloin. Run four pieces lengthwise and then bind widthwise with the remaining two strips.

Heat a heavy skillet until smoking and then add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the pork to the pan and brown on all sides. Finish cooking them in a 400° F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until medium rare to medium.

Rest the pork for ten minutes after removal from the oven.

Drain the excess fat from the pan and set on a medium burner. Deglaze with the Belle Vue Kriek and add the roasted shallots, garlic puree, molasses, brown sugar and cherries. Scrape the fond from the bottom of the pan gently with a wooden spoon as you stir and reduce sauce. Slice the pork into medallions

and top with the sauce.