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Veal Stew with Herbs and Wine

Stufato di Vitellone con Erbe e Vino

SERVES 4

This recipe showcases the preparation of a tough cut of veal, a boneless chuck roast, which in Italy would come from a calf more than three months old and grazing on pastureland. The chuck cut is from the shoulder. It is very tasty when cooked with pancetta (Italian bacon) and wine.

The best way to cook it is very slowly over low heat in a Dutch oven. Be sure that the pot is heavy duty, to retain the heat, and only large enough to hold the meat. I use a 10×3 1/2 -inch cast-iron Dutch oven. The veal roast is even better made several days ahead. Pair it with potatoes, polenta, or rice.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion (4 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, diced

2 pounds boneless veal chuck roast, tied and dried with paper towels

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

5 sprigs fresh tarragon

5 sprigs fresh summer or winter savory

2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

1 cup dry red wine

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-duty pot. Stir in the onions and cook them over medium-low heat until they are very soft. Stir in the wine vinegar, raise the heat to high and allow the vinegar to evaporate. Remove the onions to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven. Stir in the pancetta and cook it until it begins to brown. Rub the veal roast all over with the salt and pepper, add it to the Dutch oven, and brown it on all sides.

Tie the tarragon, savory, parsley, rosemary, and bay leaf together in a bundle with a piece of kitchen string and place it on top of the roast. Scatter the onions around the roast. Pour in the wine and let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook the roast, covered, for about 2 hours, or until it is fork-tender.

Remove the roast to a cutting board and let it cool for 20 minutes. With a scissors cut and remove the strings. Discard the strings and the bundle of herbs. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat into slices. Return the slices to the Dutch oven. Reheat the meat slowly until hot. Serve the meat with some of the juices poured over the top.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA - BRINGING ITALY HOME by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2001.

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