fredag den 21. maj 2010

Stuffed breast of veal

Cima ripiena
Originally this recipe is supposed to derive from Liguria, where they have a pendant for brains, sweetbread and other exotic ingredients, if you are a stranger to offals. For this reason, and because I always seem to end up with much more stuffing than the meat pocket may possibly contain, I have weeded out about half the official ingredients, and still most people tend to like it.

I also replace the cut with a leaner kind of meat like rump or round steak, if the breast looks too fat, but this is a matter of taste, as some (mainly men) might find the dish too “dry”. Both ways it should be praised for looks. And it can be prepared well in advance.

Ca 1 kg veal steak without bones (breast, round or rump)
2 tbsp dried mixed mushrooms
1 carrot
1 clove of garlic
1 moderately thick slice of pancetta, prosciutto crudo (cured ham) or Italian sausage
2 tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried bread crumbs
1 egg
Fresh parsley and marjoram
Salt, pepper.

Vegetables for the broth eg. onion, leek, carrot, celery, herbs

Soak the dried mushrooms for a couple of hours. Save the water for broth.
If you have not asked the butcher to cut a pocket in the meat, you do it yourself by making a horizontal incision into the middle of the steak with a sharp knife. The pocket should be as deep as possible.
Chop carrot, mushrooms, garlic, herbs and pancetta finely. (Bacon can be used as a pancetta substitute, though I find the taste too smoky)
Mix bread crumbs and parmesan with pine nuts, salt, pepper and all the finely chopped ingredients.
Stir in the beaten egg:
Fill the stuffing in the pocket in the meat and sew up the opening or tie it up with kitchen string.
Bring 2 litres of lightly salted water to the boil. Add whole onion, leek, carrot, bay leaf, herbs, pepper corn, soaking water from the mushrooms, etc. to make a broth.
Immense the stuffed veal in the broth and let it simmer gently for an hour and a half, or until tender.
Leave the meat in the broth to cool, before carving it in thin slices.

Run the broth through a sieve and use it to make risotto or soup for primi piatti.

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