Smoky Tomato-Braised Veal Shoulder with Potatoes
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 15 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
Humanely raised veal is becoming more widely available at top butcher shops. Butcher-chef Tia Harrison recommends choosing veal shoulder or rump roast, which are more economical than other cuts of veal but still delicious. Harrison likes to braise them; here, canned fire-roasted tomatoes give the dish a smoky flavor.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- One 6-pound boneless veal shoulder, cut into 8 equal chunks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups dry red wine
- One 28-ounce can whole fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed
- 1 cup chicken stock
- One 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 bay leaves
- Three 3-inch rosemary sprigs
- 2 star anise pods
- 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Season the veal with salt and pepper. Add 4 pieces of the veal to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the browned veal to a large plate and repeat with the remaining 4 pieces.
- Add the red wine to the casserole and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Return the veal and any accumulated juices to the casserole. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, star anise, celery, carrots and onion and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the veal is tender, about 2 hours.
- Add the potatoes to the casserole, cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Season the stew with salt and pepper.
- Discard the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and star anise. Transfer the veal to large shallow bowls. Spoon the potatoes and sauce over the veal, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.
Veal is a light meat, even when it's in a rich stew like this one, and it pairs best with lighter reds that won't overwhelm its flavor. Pinot Noir, probably the most graceful red grape, is a fine choice. Some of the best in America come from Oregon's Willamette Valley.