We did good tonight, boys and girls! I tried something new and I’m pleased to announce that it really worked well.

Over the years I have seen and/or heard of veal breasts and stuffed veal breasts from time to time.  I’ve never cooked one, never worked anywhere that ever cooked one, and, while I may see them on a cooking show now and again, rarely see them in the store, either.

So, whilst doing my shopping early this morning, I came upon a bone-in veal breast on sale for about a third of its regular price. With absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it, it was an impulse-buy right into the cart.

Once home, I started looking for recipes.  It seems that they all started out by saying “Have your butcher bone the veal breast and cut a pocket…” 

Now…  I don’t know about you, but out here in the suburban wastelands, our grocery store butcher knows how to cut the tape on the box of pre-portioned product that goes onto the refrigerated shelves. I decided it would be easier – and infinitely less-expensive – to bone it, myself.

It really took no time at all to take the bones off and I was left with – a veal brisket. Now call me silly, but I had completely forgotten that the brisket comes from the breast. I’m pretty sure I butchered a beef forequarter when I was in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club, but I think I was more concerned with trying to keep from cutting my own limbs off with the band saw than remembering the primal cuts…  the knee bone’s connected where?!?  But while I may have forgotten where it came from – I definitely hadn’t forgotten what to do with it!

Briskets are pretty fatty – and one right off the bone is even more-so.  I trimmed off the smaller top piece and with my handy-dandy KitchenAid grinder attachment (Thanks, Debbie!!!) I ground it for the stuffing.  It was maybe a pound and a quarter, pound and a half…

To it, I added salt and pepper, garlic, about a half-pound of frozen spinach and a half-jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil.  I mixed it all up and set it aside.

I butterflied the remaining piece and opened it up like a book.  I spread the stuffing all along it, rolled it jellyroll-style, and tied it with kitchen twine – keeping the fattiest layer on top.

And then the fun began.

First thing I did was brown it all off in a dutch oven.  When it was nicely browned, I added half a bottle of red wine, a quart of beef broth, and a can of diced tomatoes in juice to the pot, along with a few hefty pinches of French herbs, salt, and pepper.  I brought it to a boil and then, covered, into a 350° oven for 2 1/2 hours.  About every 30 minutes I would turn it to submerge another piece.

I pulled it out of the oven and then let it sit for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Stuffing fell out while cooking and I had a goodly amount of it along with the tomatoes in the braising liquid.  I just broke it up into uniform pieces and thickened all of it with a bit of cornstarch.

The meat was tender as tender could be – and the sauce totally rocked.  It totally rocked.  There were only a few ingredients but they spent a lot of time together.  They played together well.

So…  we have another winter meal concept to play with… I’m looking forward to it…