This dish was inspired by a pork roulade stuffed with pistachios and prosciutto that Marina made for us when we visited. I thought it would be nice to make it with veal, and cook it sous-vide. That way, the meat is cooked perfectly from edge to edge, tender, and juicy. You could also cook this roulade in the oven, but be careful not to overcook it as that would dry it out. This was also a nice use for part of the huge chunk of prosciutto di San Daniele that we had brought home from San Daniele.
The combination of veal, prosciutto and sage is well-known from Saltimbocca. The addition of toasted pistachios adds an interesting element in terms of both texture and flavor. Here’s what I did…
For 4 servings
450 grams (1 lb) tender veal (veal top round), butterflied to a slab of about 1 cm (1/3 inch) thick
100 grams (3.5 oz) prosciutto, chopped
40 grams (1/4 cup) shelled pistachios
8 fresh sage leaves
250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Toast 40 grams (1/4 cup) of shelled pistachios for about 8 minutes at 180C/350F. You can also toast them in a frying pan, but I find toasting nuts in the oven much easier as there is less risk of burning and they will be toasted more evenly.
Combine the toasted pistachios with 100 grams (3.5 oz) of chopped prosciutto and 8 sage leaves.
Mince this mixture.
Lay out a 450 grams (1 lb) slab of tender veal that is about 1 cm (1/3 inch) thick. The veal is cut from the same cut as scaloppine, but thicker. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
Put the minced prosciutto – pistachios – sage mixture in a small bowl and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to mix.
Arrange the mixture on the veal in an even layer, leaving a strip of about 2-3 cm (1 inch) emtpy.
Roll up the meat, starting from the covered end, and secure the roulade with butcher’s twine.
[When cooking in the oven, skip the part about cooking sous-vide and continue from the browning part.]
Vacuum seal. Everything up to here can be prepared up to a day in advance. Refrigerate the vacuum sealed meat until 3-5 hours before you’d like to serve.
Cook sous-vide for 3 to 5 hours at 55C/131F. The timing is not critical, so you can put the meat into the sous-vide cooker before your guests arrive, and then leave it in until you are ready to serve the main course.
Take the bag out of the sous-vide cooker and then the meat out of the bag. Because of the low cooking temperature and short cooking time the meat will have released a negligible amount of juices, which you can discard. Pat the roulade dry with paper towels.
Heat a generous layer of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meat over medium-high heat on all sides.
[When cooking in the oven, cook the meat in the oven at 160C/320F until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the roulade registers 55C/131F. Then take the meat ouf of the oven and wrap in aluminum foil while you finish the sauce.]
Take the meat out of the pan and wrap in aluminum foil while you finish the sauce.
Discard most of the olive from the pan, the deglaze the pan with 80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine. Use a wooden spatula to stir and pick up the browned bits and pieces that are stuck to the pan.
Next, add 250 ml (1 cup) of chicken stock.
Cook over medium heat to reduce the sauce.
When the sauce has finished reducing, take the meat out of the aluminum foil. Add the juices that have been released by the meat to the sauce. (We never waste any flavor!)
Remove the butcher’s twine and slice the roulade.
Serve the meat at once with the sauce on preheated plates.
Although a medium-bodied red could work, I prefer to serve this with a full-bodied white. To stay with the theme of our recent trip to Italy, I picked an oaked Friulano from 2008 that worked very well with the dish. Another full-bodied Italian white that is first aged in oak and then in the bottle will work, too.
Mussels with blue cheese may sound like a crazy combination, but it works and is absolutely delicious. If you like mussels and you like blue cheese, you should try this!