Roasted veal is a simple, elegant way to cook one of the more subtle-flavored types of meat. The secret to making a veal roast is to first, buy a good piece of meat, and second, start it on top of the stove to brown the meat, basting it in melted butter. The cooking continues in the oven and an instant thermometer makes sure you don't over-cook it.
A veal roast can be expensive so this is a time to buy from a good butcher. Tell him how you're going to cook it and ask to have the roast tied in one-inch intervals with butchers twine.
Roast the veal so that it is taken out of the oven about 10 minutes before you plan to serve it. When serving, be generous with your slices, and cut the pieces in 1/2-inch slices so that each bite offers a generous taste.
Veal roast is a perfect centerpiece to a meal that includes a full flavored pasta or risotto, and bright green vegetables like broccolini.
One 4 to 5 pound veal roast. A top round or leg are both good cuts for this. Ask your butcher to trim the roast of any sinew or silver meat and tie securely at 1-inch intervals.
6 large garlic cloves, smashed with the skins left on
3 to 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Before cooking, bring the roast to room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator about a half-hour before you plan to cook it.
- Lightly rinse the roast with cool water and completely dry using paper towels.
- Use a large sauté pan or skillet, one that can be used on top of the stove and also in the oven. Do not use a non-stick pan.
- Season the roast generously on all sides with salt and freshly ground pepper, pressing the salt and pepper into the meat.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of canola oil in the sauté pan and place over a high heat until the oil shimmers (but not smoking).
- Add the butter and let it melt to combine with the oil.
- Add the roast and with the pan on a moderately high heat, lightly brown on all sides. This will take about 5 minutes. While browning the roast, use a large spoon to baste the roast with the melted butter/oil combination in the pan. You may need to slightly tip the pan to gather the melted butter.
- When the roast is completely browned, add the garlic cloves and sprigs of thyme.
- Place the pan into the pre-heated oven and roast for 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant thermometer registers 140º F.
- When done, remove the roast from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Remove the butchers string before slicing and serving.
Adapted from a recipe by Thomas Keller.