Every time I serve Breast of Veal Ed says, “my mother used to make this.”
He never says it was a favorite from his youth or that he hated it, just that she cooked it. This dish apparently conjures memories for him, though he doesn’t say so (although he once told me his father thought Breast of Veal was “plebeian”).
My mother-in-law roasted Breast of Veal and packed the pocket with matzo stuffing. I loved that dish. But recently I decided to skip the stuffing and the roasting and I braised the veal instead.
The result? Really tender, succulent meat and lots of savory pan juices (that would be perfect if you added some mashed potatoes or egg noodles as a side dish). I included carrots and parsnips to the pan and slow cooked it all for hours so it was a one-pot dinner, which makes mealtime much easier.
Plebeian or elegant, who cares if it tastes good? Not me. This way of cooking Breast of Veal is for me.
Braised Breast of Veal
one breast of veal, about 3-1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse and dry the veal and press the meat into the flour to lightly coat the entire surface. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the meat and cook for about 4 minutes per side to brown the outside. Remove the meat to a plate and set aside. Add the carrots, parsnips and onion to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes to cook them slightly. Return the meat to the pan. Pour in the stock and wine. Scatter the parsley around the pan and place the thyme sprigs in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook at a simmer for about 2 hours or until very tender.
Makes 4 servings