Preparing less common cuts of meat can be intimidating. These little known treasures typically require longer cooking times and benefit from braising. They also tend to be inexpensive. Consider veal breast. At about $2.99/lb, it’s much cheaper than cutlets or chops.
Easy to make and elegant, this recipe should please everyone (unless they have an objection to eating a calf). It takes less than 15 minutes to prep and under 2 hours of unattended cooking for the veal to become tender. For the stuffing, you can add or omit the veggies to your liking. Just make sure you have enough to fill the pocket, the size of which will vary depending on the breast. Try to find one with less fat. You’ll need to trim it well or else eating may prove challenging.
Mediterranean Stuffed Veal Breast
2 lbs of veal breast, trimmed of fat
1 tbsp of butter
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
3 cremini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, minced
6-8 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 oz of arugula or baby spinach (half a package)
5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup of feta cheese
1 tbsp of olive oil
3/4 cup of veal, chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
Prep the veal: First cut a pocket.
Make sure to get rid of most of that fat inside and leave only a thin layer on top. You can have your butcher do this. And you can also de-boned if you want, but I prefer bone in for added flavor and presentation.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium. Add the onions and saute for 1 minute. Then add mushrooms and garlic saute for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and a few chopped sage leaves. Then add the sundried tomatoes and arugula. Saute for another minute. Then let cool.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Drizzle a little oil on the top and bottom. Place a few sage leaves on top. Place veal in the pan and add stock and wine. Roast for about an hour and a half to 2 hours. (The internal temp should be at least 160 degrees, but this really benefits from longer cooking to make it tender.) If the top isn’t browned (remember I’ve been cooking in a toaster oven), broil or roast on 450 for a couple of minutes. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.Then slice. (If not de-boned, make sure you don’t slice in the wrong direction so that you cut through the areas without bone. I speak from experience in a second try of this recipe.)
Serve as a play on surf and turf — veal with lobster ravioli in a simple fresh tomato cream sauce. (Trader Joe’s has some inexpensive ones that are pretty good.)Otherwise, any pasta or potato side dish would make a nice accompaniment. You already have the green veggies from the stuffing.
To drink: For a white, I’ve been a fan of 2012 Jean-Marc Brocard Saint-Bris Sauvignon lately. Or a gin cocktail with some fresh herbs would be go well. Try the Tub Gin if you can find it.