Of all the new veal dishes we produced in 2012, this is my personal favourite. The combined flavours of the stuffing ingredients are very moreish.
However, we made a couple of mistakes when we cooked this dish a few days ago. This season’s batch of stock had more salt than previously – big mistake! Over the two hours of cooking, the flavours of the stock became more concentrated, including the salt. And this piece of veal – purchased from Ashburton Quality Meats – weighed only 750g and was more tender than some we have cooked. So, it was overcooked; nothing wrong with the flavour but the meat fell apart as Maggie carved it and it was slightly dry.
To serve the leftovers – enough for a take-to-work lunch each – I ameliorated the saltiness of the sauce by making some barely-salted carrot mashed with butter, sour cream and nutmeg, as well as adding some wilted spinach leaves to each plate.
There are some other veal dishes on our prospective menu, so we are going to have to be very circumspect with the use of salt.
1-2 shallots, peeled
4-6 slices of flat pancetta, roughly chopped
3 tsp chopped, fresh herbs (we use a mixture of parsley, sage, thyme and marjoram)
pinch of mixed spice
salt and pepper
1kg boned shoulder (or breast) of veal
1 tbsp olive oil
200ml veal stock
- Finely chop the mushrooms and shallot, melt 20g of the butter and sauté for a few minutes to soften the vegetables.
- In a bowl, combine the mushrooms and shallots with the pancetta, herbs and mixed spice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Lay the veal flat, skin-side down, spread with the stuffing and roll up into a sausage shape. Use kitchen string to tie securely.
- Melt the oil and remaining butter in a heavy flameproof casserole and brown the veal lightly. Add stock, cover tightly and cook in an oven pre-heated to 150C for about 2 hours or until tender, turning the veal once or twice.
- Place the veal on a board, remove string and carve slices to serve, accompanied by the cooking liquid, some or all of mashed carrot, boiled small potatoes, wilted spinach and beans.