This is a spectacular dish whether it is served hot or cold. The long simmering in wine and vegetables enlivens the delicate flavor of the veal, and the stuffing which consists of spinach, lima beans, and peas is light, fresh, and very pretty.
Ask the butcher to prepare the breast for stuffing by making a pocket. Check to see that all the little rib bones have been removed. Reserve the bones.
In a large bowl, mix the salt pork, peas, lima beans, rice, spinach, garlic, cheese, parsley, eggs, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Check the seasoning and stuff the breast or breasts with the mixture (do not overstuff). Use a needle and thread to sew up the opening. (The stuffed breast will look like a plump cushion.) Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan or a large baking dish that you can place over two burners on top of the stove. Add the carrots, onions, leek, celery, tomatoes, and the breast bones (soup bones may be substituted). Sauté for 5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and put the veal in the pan. Cook over a high flame for 15 minutes to brown on both sides.
Make a layer of half the vegetable mixture. Lay the veal on top and cover with the remaining vegetables. Add the wine and bay leaves. Cover and cook on top of the stove for 2 hours or in a 375° oven for 2½ hours. Baste twice. During the first half hour, check to be sure there is enough liquid (if too dry, add some wine). Uncover the pan for the last 1½ hours of cooking.
When the veal is cooked, place it on a chopping board, but leave the vegetables and liquid in the pan in the oven or over a low flame. Pull out the thread from the veal. With the help of a plate, or better, a wooden board with a handle (planche à hacher—see Techniques and Tools), keep the stuffing together while you cut the veal in
Skim the fat from the liquid. Pass it through a Mouli food mill, along with the vegetables, into a bowl. Correct the seasoning. Pour over the sliced veal and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
© 1990 Mireille Johnston estate. All rights reserved.