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Braised Breast Of Veal With Fennel And Green Olives

Braised Breast Of Veal With Fennel And Green Olives

Breast of veal is an often underrated cut of meat. It is naturally self-basting and, after long, slow cooking, will provide you with the most unbelievable pan juices to drizzle over everything.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 cup small-diced onion
  • 1/2 cup small-diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup small-diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups dried breadcrumbs
  • One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (in water), drained and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs, crumbled between your fingers
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 pounds boneless breast of veal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cups sliced pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish


  • Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is just crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside. Remove 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat and reserve separately, leaving the rest of the fat in the Dutch oven.

  • Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring, until just soft, about 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables using a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate to cool.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cooled vegetable mixture, pancetta, artichoke hearts, garlic, dried herbs, lemon zest, Parmesan, olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining salt. Stir the mixture until it resembles wet sand.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Lightly pound or butterfly the breast of veal to 1 to 1 1/2-inch thickness, forming a roughly rectangular piece of meat of even thickness. Season on both sides with 2 teaspoons of the remaining salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Lay the veal so that it is fatty (skin) side down on the cutting board and spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the veal to come within 1 inch of all edges. Carefully roll the meat lengthwise and then tie along the length of the roulade every 1 1/2 inches with kitchen twine. Tie the roulade in the opposite direction, end to end, with one long piece of twine to secure the ends. Reserve any stuffing that falls out while rolling the veal.

  • Return the Dutch oven to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the reserved 1 tablespoon rendered pancetta fat. When hot, add the veal and cook until well browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the wine, stock, lemon juice, fennel seeds, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil. Add any stuffing that has fallen out while rolling the veal, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the veal is very tender, about 3 1/2 hours, turning every hour and adding the fennel and olives for the last hour of cooking.

  • Remove from the oven and set aside, still covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer the roulade from the Dutch oven to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the twine, cut the roulade crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and spoon the braising liquid over all. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Recipe Details