“Nicole tried to avoid the scowling face of Madame Marre as she used her bread to mop up the last of her sauce. Roast veal, sliced and served in its own jus, accompanied by sliced potatoes fried in duck fat and garlic and lathered in cream. What Fabien’s mother lacked in social graces, she more than made up for in culinary skills.”

The Critic, Peter May


This rolled joint will be enough for ten in the evening, and then six a day or so later for lunch in a Vitello Tonnato.

You can serve it with broccoli (or broccolini) or baby cabbage and either crushed lemony potatoes or dauphinois potatoes  (as in the quote above)  and a plain gravy – just made from the joints own juices.

Or you can serve it without any potatoes and only a mushroom cream sauce – made from a basic roux composed of shallots, cream and vermouth – a delicious addition concocted and created by a Greek friend.

Or you can serve it with the most outrageously simple, and oozingly comforting celeriac – go here for that trick!


Recipe for rolled, roast veal


for ten

  • 2 kg/4 lb 8 oz veal fillet rolled, bound in string and, ideally, covered (by the butcher) in bacon
  • olive oil to fry and sear – go here for information about why you sear.
  • 2½ cups/600ml white wine
  • 4 banana shallots, chopped
  • a whole head of garlic, taken apart and crushed but don’t bother to peel
  • whatever herbs you have to hand – generous handful of herbes de Provence, or a bay leaf and some thyme
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • smoked salt and Indonesian long pepper
  • you may also need a little arrowroot


  1. brown and sear the meat with a slosh of olive oil over a high heat  in a Staub or Le Creusset casserole or something similar (go here for which is the best to buy – something both oven and hob proof). The whole surface should start to caramelise due to the Maillard reaction.
  2. add the chopped banana shallots, cover the casserole and continue to cook about ten minutes at a lower heat.
  3. add  the garlic and go on cooking for yet another ten minutes
  4. add the white wine and simmer about 40 minutes  (if you have an aga use the top left – simmering oven)
  5. whisk in the butter (with your cappuccino whisk if you have one) – this will make the gravy a little glossy, and season
  6. take out of the oven and leave to rest, still covered and with the juices, for about ten minutes, but if the juices look a bit thin you may want to put the meat on a carving board and cover it with foil and reduce the juices – if it looks as if there isn’t enough liquid add a generous slosh more wine. To thicken it without it going cloudy mix a teaspoon of arrowroot with a little water and whisk in – again with the cappuccino whisk if you have one.

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