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STUFFED BREAST OF VEAL

Say “veal” and listeners think fine ($$$) dining.  Me too. 

A couple years ago, for a formal New Year's Eve party, at three neighborhood houses, with dinner at our house, I roasted two six-rib Hotel Racks of Veal.  Awesome entrée but at a cost of $70 a rack.  This year, we had two couples over for a casual evening.  Veal was still on my mind but I was determined not to spend a fortune nor hover over the oven to pull a roast out at just the right temperature. 

My butcher had a counter full of veal—racks, chops, even a crown roast.  Way in back was a rolled affair that looked like an emaciated flank steak.  “What's that, George,” I asked?  “Breast of Veal, rolled tied and ready to go.  Its $6.50 per pound and at 3.5 pounds should be enough for six.  Just pop it in the oven for a couple of hours he replied.”  “Never heard of it, but I’ll take it.”

I took it home and untied it to see what the thing looked like and to get a better idea of what to do with it.  A quick check of my Meat Buyers Guide revealed that what I had was a boneless veal breast, much like a brisket of beef (same part of the critter).  A look at a couple of cookbooks determined that breast of veal often has a pocket cut into it for stuffing. Not this piece, which was only about an inch thick and was not well trimmed.  Ten minutes later, I had a pound of fat and silver skin and a nice lean breast of veal, but now weighing only 2.5 lbs.  "Got to stuff this thing, if for no other reason than to get it back up to six servings," I mused. 

And so we have:

STUFFED BREAST OF VEAL
Yield:  six servings
See abbreviations, if needed
The meat:
·  1       Boneless veal breast, well trimmed, no pocket, less than 1-inch thick, about 3.5 pounds 
 The stuffing:
·  2-3        links of fresh made (uncooked) Italian or other well-seasoned sausage
·  1           onion, diced and sautéed
·  ½ C       roasted red peppers, diced (the canned variety might be OK here)
·  1 C        cooked rice colored with bit of saffron 
·  garlic      and/or other seasonings of choice to compliment the sausage
The braising liquid: (which will be strained later to make the sauce)
·  2T          EVOO
·  20 oz      chicken or veal stock or 2 cans of chicken stock, to cover about half way up the veal 
·  1             small onion, coarsely sliced
·  2             pieces of celery, coarsely sliced
·  1             carrot, unpeeled, chopped
·  BG          thyme, bay leaves, parsley stems and black pepper corns, loose and tossed in

1.   Preheat oven to 325F
For the stuffing:
2.   Sauté the onions in a Dutch oven big enough to hold the veal
3.   Remove the skin from the sausage, chop up the links rather finely and briefly 
      sauté with the sautéed onions 
4.   Add the roasted and diced red peppers
5.   Prepare the rice and add to the Dutch oven
6.   Add other seasonings of choice
7.   Mix all and remove stuffing to a prep dish and let cool
For the veal:
8.   Season both sides of the veal breast well with salt and freshly ground pepper
9.   Spread a layer of stuffing evenly over the veal breast, leaving a ½ inch border
      (Save the unused stuffing for the braising liquid)
10.  Starting at the short end, roll the breast to form a round with the
       ends meeting but not overlapping
11.  Tie the roll with 6-7 wraps of butcher's twine and 1-2 wraps lengthwise around
12.  Brown the breast roll in the Dutch oven with 2T of EVOO
For the pot:
13.  Remove the breast, add the mirepoix (onion, celery and carrots) and sauté 
14.  Add the BG and any leftover stuffing
15.  Return the breast to the Dutch oven, add the stock to cover about half way up
16.  Cover and braise in the oven at 325F until the veal is fork tender, about 2 hours
For the dish:
17.  Remove the breast from the Dutch oven, hold in a warm place and remove the twine
18.  Skim off any fat from the braising liquid and then strain it into a saucepan
19.  BTB, and reduce the sauce to thicken, correct seasoning
20.  Carefully slice the rolled veal breast and serve with the sauce on heated plates
Notes:  Veggie sides might include Asparagus, Roasted Veggies or Green Beans.  A baked potato 
or twice baked potato can also be included as the starch.



 

 

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