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Veal Breast Stuffed With Sausage And Spinach

Daphne Hays, chef at Capers catering company in Arlington, likes this bony cut of veal. Breast of veal is relatively uncommon, available mostly from butchers. A deep pocket in the boned meat allows the cook to stuff it. Hays uses spinach, sausage meat, and ground veal to make a dish for a casual gathering.

1/2 pound fresh spinach, rinsed, dried, and stemmed
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound mixed mushrooms (shiitake, crimini, and portobello)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups bread crumbs
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 pound sweet sausage meat (remove from its casing)
1/2 pound ground veal
3 pounds boneless breast of veal (prepared for stuffing by a butcher)
Extra olive oil (for drizzling)
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup sherry
2 cups chicken stock

Chop the spinach coarsely. Place it in a colander set over a plate and sprinkle it lightly with salt. Set it aside for 20 minutes. Squeeze out the liquid.

In a saute pan, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, reduce the heat, and cook the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring often. Set them aside.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, thyme, sausage, veal, mushrooms, and spinach. Mix well. Stuff this mixture into the veal-breast cavity. With butcher's string, tie at 2-inch intervals. This is messy, but it doesn't matter if it's not neat.

Set the oven at 400 degrees. Rub the veal breast lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the meat in a shallow roasting pan and roast it for 30 minutes, basting twice with any juices in the pan. Remove it from the oven.

Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees. Place the carrots, celery, and onion in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Place the meat on the bed of vegetables.

Spoon off any fat from the bottom of the roasting pan and set it on a burner. Pour in the sherry and stock and cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour it over the veal.

Cover the casserole with its lid and cook the veal for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning several times, or until the meat is very tender. Remove it from the oven and let it sit in a warm place for 5 minutes. Discard the strings and carve the meat into thick slices. Serve at once with steamed potatoes.

Serves 6

By Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

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