Imagine something soft and succulent, a warm dish that goes well with creamy mashed potatoes. Imagine something suitable to prepare for a romantic dinner or a Sunday lunch. For Italians, this is the description of a veal roast, a preparation that seems long and difficult but is not in reality. The result is memorable.
In Italy, veal is one of the most used meats in cooking because of its softness and its delicate taste. In America, it’s less popular; it may be easier to find on some restaurant menus but less in American kitchens.
Keep the Roast Veal recipe in mind…
…when you want to make a good impression by preparing something that your guests aren’t expecting, especially if you have little time to cook.
Keep a piece of veal in the freezer, quickly thaw it out and make this delicious roast.
Don’t know how to thaw it quickly? It’s easy. Use the microwave or put the meat bag tightly closed and immersed in a bowl of preparation covered with hot water (be careful, not boiling water) for at least 15 minutes. If the meat is still frozen, replace the water with hot water once again.
Quick overview on making a delicious veal roast
Making a good roast means choosing the best piece of meat and herbs, and controlling the temperature while cooking resulting in soft, juicy meat.
I had my first real veal roast with Alex, who always prepares delicious dishes in a few easy steps. Everything becomes easier when you learn how to cook things correctly.
Choose the best piece of meat for your Roast Veal.
Veal is synonymous with tender meat because it is not very muscular, has little fat, and cooks quickly. It is best to choose a boneless piece from the front part of the calf, shoulder, or breast for this recipe. Do not buy meat that is moist and watery-looking, grayish or too red or meat that is too fatty.
How much to buy?
I suggest you calculate about 6 oz. per portion or person. Buy about 3.5 lbs. for 6-8 portions. There will be a substantial loss of fluid from the meat during cooking.
Why it is essential to bind the roast
This is an essential step because it will make the roast cook evenly and will stay in roast form. If you’re not an expert, have your butcher tie it or buy it already tied. If you want to try it yourself, follow these instructions:
- Compact the meat and tie the roast length-wise;
- Pull the kitchen twine toward you and knot it, keeping it taut without cutting it;
- Pass the kitchen twine under the meat, making it stick out from the opposite side of the knot you’ve just made, lifting it upward with your right hand, and grasping it with your left hand;
- Rotate your hand counterclockwise, forming a loop that must be threaded onto the piece of meat;
- Arrange it, and with your right hand, pull the string with small alternating strokes to the right and left;
- Then tighten the loop that binds the meat;
- Repeat this operation, threading the loop from time to time, always on the opposite side of the initial knot, sliding it towards you and overcoming the ties made previously;
- Make successive loops until you reach the first knot, to which you must tie the remaining string;
- Make sure the knot is tight.
Why a thermometer is essential in cooking meat
It is necessary to maintain the roast’s perfect cooking process inside. 135°F is the ideal cooking temperature for this meat. Otherwise, it will become tough and stringy. Don’t worry if it still looks pink; let it rest covered with aluminum foil while preparing the sauce. It will continue cooking gently, and the veal roast will turn out perfectly. This step is crucial because the juices will remain inside and make the meat succulent and tender. It will also cut more easily without tearing.
- 3.5 lb of roast veal, boneless tenderloin works well
- 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp of coarse salt
- Salt and pepper to taste for the final result
- 1 cup of meat or vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- A few leaves of sage or oregano, parsley, thyme
- Tie the roast with the kitchen twine;
- Season and massage the meat on each side with salt and pepper before cooking. If it’s not properly seasoned, the meat won’t taste very good;
- Heat the dutch oven with the oil and herbs over medium heat until just smoking;
- Add the meat and brown it nicely on all sides. Do it carefully to prevent the meat from overcooking. Also, check that the aromatic herbs do not brown: it could give a bitter taste to the meat. In this case, replace them with fresh herbs;
- Stick the thermometer into the center of the roast and set it to 135°F;
- Cover the pot with a lid; lower the heat and let it cook until it reaches the set temperature. It should take about 15-20 minutes. During this time, turn the piece of roast once to cook evenly on each side. Alternatively, you can cook it in the oven at 350°F for the same time. Cooking should be done with the lid on to keep the flavors in.
- When done, remove the veal roast from the dutch oven and place it on a plate. Let it rest covered with aluminum foil;
- Meanwhile, remove the herbs from the dutch oven, add the butter to the juice with about 1 cup of broth;
- Using a whisk, blend the sauce together;
- Reduce the flame to medium; when the sauce bubbles and you see the sauce thicken, remove it from the heat;
- Remove kitchen twine from veal roast and cut the roast into slices, place them on a plate;
- Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve the veal roast warm. If you like a more robust flavor, put the freshly cut pieces back into the dutch oven and let them soak in the sauce for a few minutes over medium heat.
- If the piece of meat is very fatty, you can add one teaspoon of lemon zest or a few finely chopped mint leaves to lighten and freshen the sauce;
- If you want a lighter sauce: add 1/2 glass of white wine and let it soak in;
- It is not recommended to add spices to the sauce because you will mask the taste of the meat. If you want something spicy, add some cinnamon to the broth;
- Double the butter and add one tablespoon of flour for a richer sauce. It will be much thicker and tastier.
How to preserve the veal roast
If there are a few slices of roast left, put them in the Dutch oven and store them in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat it on low with the lid on for an additional fresh meal.