Herb and Pistachio-Stuffed Veal Pot Roast

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

We just don’t see much veal anymore. Unfortunately, it got a bad rap because of the inhumane way some ranchers raised the young animals. There is, however, “ethically and humanely grown” veal in the marketplace—ask for it! Here, I use the boneless shoulder roast, but the boneless breast is also delicious. These cuts are high in collagen, which makes for greater richness than we usually associate with veal. The herb and pistachio stuffing is actually a pesto, and any of the pestos will “work”; if something else appeals to you more than the pistachio, give it a try instead.


  • 3 pounds or so well-trimmed boneless veal shoulder roast (ask the butcher to do this for you)
  • Pistachio Pesto
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ pound pancetta or bacon cut into large dice
  • 2 cups chopped white or yellow onions
  • 2 cups chopped white mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • cups chopped fresh fennel or 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock or your favorite canned broth
  • cups white wine, preferably medium-bodied
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Unroll the meat, carefully removing any netting or string that may be wrapping it, and spread the pesto mixture liberally on the inside. Roll the roast back up tightly and rewrap with the netting or tie with string. Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or heavy pot large enough to hold the roast, heat the olive oil and brown the roast well on all sides over high heat. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan, and add the pancetta, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and fennel. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are softened and just beginning to color. Add the stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the veal, cover the pot, and roast in the oven for about 1½ hours, until the veal registers an internal temperature of 155°F. on an instant-read thermometer.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Carefully strain the liquid into a bowl, pressing down on the solids. Wipe out the pot and return the liquid to it. (Of course, you can just strain the liquid directly into a clean pot if you don’t mind having two pots to wash when you’re done.) Add the cream, bring the liquid to a boil, and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced and is as thick as a light sauce. Turn off the heat, stir in the parsley and lemon zest, taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Remove the net or string from the veal, slice it thickly, and serve with the hot sauce spooned over it.