Expanding my horizons

I don’t have a photo of this recipe because so little of it made it past dinner time. The new house has meant that I have been trying to keep our grocery bill down more progressively than before.

And meats seemed like a good place to start. There are so many less expensive cuts of meat that I haven’t used or heard of before but so far have been very tasty. I have a freezer stocked with flap meat/sirloin tip, lamb neck, and now, veal breast.

I had tried lamb breast in the past and things didn’t go well. The meat was very fatty and greasy, even after a long slow cook and skimming. I’ll have to try again another time perhaps. But veal breast has been a revelation!

First you slow cook the breast in the oven, covered with broth. Then, after resting it over night, you cube and quickly fry it. I served it to my parents and they really seemed to enjoy it. Just be aware that the meat shrinks substantially during the cooking and weighting process.

I used a bone-in breast of veal weighting about 3 lbs for 4 people but had a large trap of ratatouille (Smitten Kitchen-style) to go with it.

I expect this recipe can be translated to work in the slow cooker as well, instead of the oven but I have yet to try it.

Confit of Veal Breast
Adapted from The Splendid Table

3 lb bone-in veal breast
3  1/2  c low-sodium chicken broth (or just add a little water to your regular broth)
1 tsp garlic powder (1 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 500F.

Place veal in a large cast iron pot with lid. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes without lid.

Remove veal from oven and reduce oven to 300F. Add broth and seasonings to the pot. Add lid and reduce to oven. Cook 3 hours, until veal is fork-tender.

Remove veal from pot and allow to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, remove bones, cartilage, and tissue, trying not to tear the veal. Fingers worked best here. Any piece for meat that do fall off should be saved for next step.

Strain braising liquid and refrigerate.

Cut veal breast into evenly sized halves. Sandwich meat scraps between the two halves. Wrap in foil, crimping the edges. Place on sheet pan with another sheet pan on top of the foil packet. Weight it and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but overnight is preferable.


Skim fat off of braising liquid. Place in a small saucepan and reduce to taste. Using butter and flour, thicken the sauce slightly, to the consistency of a thin gravy.

Meanwhile, remove veal from foil packet. Cut into 1 1/2″ chunks. Heat a large pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. When pan is hot, add veal and cook until hot and crusty. This should take about 4-5 minutes, turning the veal once.

Serve immediately with sauce.

I think it would work well over mashed potatoes or polenta, as the sauce is very delicious.


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Filed under French, Meat & Fish, Soups & Stews

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