Brasato Vitello (Braised veal shoulder) . . .

Note: We used a veal stock we had made using a Thomas Keller recipe from his book Bouchon in place of the beef stock suggested in this recipe.


When braised with wine, veal shoulder tenderizes and soaks up the aromatic liquid.

1 2 1/4-lb. piece boneless
   veal shoulder, tied with
Kosher salt and freshly
   ground black pepper,
   to taste
6 oz. lardo or fatback, minced (we used salt pork and left in until the straining in step 3)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 750-ml bottle of red wine
4 carrots
2 ribs celery
2 medium onions
6 clove garlic, crushed
4 1/2 cups beef stock
10 whole cloves
1 3" stick cinnamon
2 bay leaf
5 sprigs thyme

2 sprig rosemary
15 small potatoes, cut into 1" pieces, skin on

1 large sweet onion cut in 3/4 inch wedges

25 small carrots halved (2" long pre-skinned cello bag)

1/2 cup light rum

1. Heat oven to 300°. Season veal with salt and pepper. Heat half the lardo and half the butter in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add veal; cook, turning, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Transfer veal to a plate; set aside. Quarter 2 cooking carrot, 2 rib celery, and 2 cooking onions; add along with garlic to Dutch oven and cook until browned, 12–15 minutes. Add wine; bring to full boil to reduce 12 minutes.  Return veal to pot, and add 4 cups stock, cloves, bay leaf, and rosemary and thyme; boil. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until veal is tender, about 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining lardo and butter in a 4-qt. pot over medium heat. Cut remaining carrots, potatoes, and onions into 3/4" pieces and add to pot along with remaining stock; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 25 minutes; set aside. (We cooked the veggies while reducing the sauce in the next step to avoid overcooking them).

3. Remove veal from oven; transfer veal to a plate. Pour sauce through a fine strainer set into a 4-qt. pot, discard solids. Set pot over medium-high heat. Add rum; cook until sauce has thickened, 12–15 minutes. To serve, slice veal, and arrange on a platter with vegetables. Spoon sauce over veal.


Pairing note: Full-bodied Barolo pairs well with this rich, hearty braise.