For John’s birthday, which happened to fall on the same week as my finals, I decided to make veal breast – it’s probably the cheapest cut of meat that gets overlooked because most people are unsure as to how they should prepare it.
Well head to your butcher, because this is easy. Just ask him to remove the bone, and pound the meat flat – without the bone you should have 1lb of meat for 2-3 servings. This recipe easily doubles or triples, and it will give you plenty of time to prepare other courses.
Braised Veal Breast – 2-3 servings
1 lb veal breast, prepared by the butcher
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 lb of Pancetta, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
5 spanish onions, thinly sliced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
Serve on rice or pasta (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the meat on a large enough cutting board to lay it out. Season with salt and pepper. Make 6 slits in the meat, and slip in the garlic. Lay the slices of pancetta evenly over the veal breast and sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Roll the meat up tightly like a jelly roll, and tie it with butcher’s twine or a foodloop (I love mine).
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat. Once it starts smoking, sear the veal roll until golden brown all over, this may take about 15 minutes. Remove the meat and set in a bowl. Add the onions to the Dutch oven, and lower heat to medium-high. Cook until golden brown and soft. Stir in the chicken stock and wine, and make sure to scrape up any meat or onions the bottom on the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the veal and any juices to the Dutch oven, and bring the liquid to a boil.
Cover tightly and bake in the oven for 2 hours.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven, return to the stove on high heat. Take out the veal and place on a cutting board for about 5 minutes to rest. Bring the liquid to a boil, and allow to reduce and thicken. Remove the butcher twine from the veal and slice into 1-inch medallions, serve over rice or pasta, and top with onions and juices.
Serve with a lightly dressed salad, and some champagne.