One of my favorite dishes is veal saltimbocca, veal cutlets with prosciutto and sage. The combination works so well, that I thought it would be nice to make a variation using veal breast. This cut of meat is more flavorful than veal cutlets, but it requires low and slow cooking to become tender. It is the same cut as brisket for beef, but it is more tender and has a more subtle flavor because it comes from a younger animal. I served this for Boxing Day with a spinach tartlet on the side. Here’s what I did…
For 4 servings
500 grams (1.1 lbs) veal breast, trimmed, as rectangular as possible
half a litre (2 cups) homemade veal stock
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
2 Tbsp minced fresh sage, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
thinly sliced prosciutto di parma, about 50 grams (1.8 oz)
2 Tbsp fat floating on top of the veal stock, or 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Butterfly the veal breast or ask your butcher to do this.
Pound it with a meat hammer between two sheets of plastic wrap if needed. The veal should be about 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick and as rectangular as possible.
Season the veal with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
Combine a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with a tablespoon of minced sage and a minced clove of garlic in a small bowl. Stir to mix.
Spread this mixture on one side of the veal.
Cover with thinly sliced prosciutto.
Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano.
Roll up with the filling inside.
Secure the roulade with butcher’s twine.
If you made veal stock yourself, you will get the best flavor by using the fat that floats on top of the stock to brown the veal.
Melt this fat in a frying pan and allow any remaining water to evaporate over low heat. Use olive oil if you did not make your own veal stock.
Brown the meat over medium-high heat…
…until it has a nice crust on all sides. Take the meat out of the pan.
Add a minced shallot and the remaining minced garlic clove and minced sage to the drippings that remain in the pan. Season with salt.
Stir over medium heat until the shallot and garlic start to color (but don’t let the garlic get too dark), then deglaze with 80 ml of dry white wine.
Allow half of the wine to evaporate over medium heat, then add half a litre of veal stock (note that I used veal stock that had already been reduced).
Allow to reduce over medium heat, stirring once in a while, until reduced to about a quarter.
Sieve the sauce, pushing down on the solids with a spoon to get all the flavor out. Reserve the sauce.
If cooking sous-vide, allow the meat to cool before vacuum sealing.
You can also cook the roulade in the oven at 150C/300F until the core temperature reaches 53C/125F. Allow to rest, wrapped in aluminum foil, for about 10 minutes before carving. The core temperature will rise to about 55C/131F while it rests.
…and cook sous-vide for 8 hours at 55C/131F. If you like, you can include the juices from the bag in the sauce by pouring them into a bowl, putting that bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the proteins coagulate, and then strain the juices into the prepared sauce. Reheat the sauce and allow it to reduce a little if you added the sous-vide juices.
Slice the meat and serve it with the sauce on preheated plates.
This is great with a Verdicchio Riserva, or another oaked full-bodied well-structured dry white.
Tuna with carrots and cumin is a great combination.