Veal – ey delicious!

Yes, yes I know. I’ve stooped to a whole new low with the title of this post. I think my brain still needs to get into gear for 2012! Expect a whole new raft of rubbish puns, and maybe some recycled ones, in 2012!

This roast was the first thing we cooked as Dinner at the Manor at our Nigella Lawson Feast event. The choice of British Rose veal for our menu was quite a contentious issue back in September, one which I won’t go into on this post, please read though the original post and form your own views. Needless to say the key to this is that you choose rose veal, which is the most ethical meat we produce in this country. We use the wonderful Heaves Farm for ours.

In fact we love this meat so much myself and Dan recreated it for our New Year’s Eve main course on our sojourn to Devon. (A 9 course mega feast where all 8 of us prepared a fabulous meal!)

Veal meat is quite dense and tighly woven (we used rump which is especially so!) and does actually take a while to cook so by marinating it with garlic, wine and fennel for 48 hours before and slow roasting really adds juiciness and bags of flavour.

Staying true to our Dinner at the Manor menu, we served this with crunchy, golden roast potatoes and lemony green beans. Dan also made a super tasty gravy from veal stock we made from some bones too.

This truly is an amazing meat and is perfect for any special occasion, or just for a nice Sunday roast. try it, I think you might be surprised! This is superb British produce and we really need to champion it.

Rose Veal Slow Roasted with Fennel and Garlic
Serves 6-8
Adapted from Nigella Lawson Feast

1.5kg rose veal rump joint
1 tbsp fennel seeds
3-4 plump garlic cloves
Glug of olive oil
a good couple of sprigs of rosemary, chopped
400ml white wine (half for the marinade, half for when it is’s put in the oven)
sea salt & black pepper

48 hours before you need to roast, you need to marinade the veal. To make the marinade, in a pestle and mortar, (or blender) pound a tsp of salt salt, a grinding of pepper, garlic, fennel and rosemary until you have a paste. Add a swig of olive oil to loosen. Set the marinade to one side.

Stab the veal joint with a small, sharp knife at 2-3cm intervals across the top of the rump. Then, take the paste and smear all over the top of the meat, pushing as much as you can into the incisions. Place the joint in a suitably sized container with lid, or in a plastic food bag. Swill out the remaining paste with half of the white wine and pour this around the meat.

Leave in the fridge for 48 hours, a minimum of 24.

On the day you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C conventional)and bring the veal back up to room temp.

Place the veal in a snug roasting tray keep as much of the marinade paste on the joint as you can. Pour the rest of the marinade around the joint and place in the oven for about 1 hour 45.

The key to getting the meat juicy and tender is the resting time. Once the meat is out of the oven, cover it in tin foil and then leave for an hour at least. Yes, you really need to leave it for this long!

Once you are ready to serve, you can reduce the marinade into a thin gravy if you like. Carve the meat into nice, neat slices and serve.

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