How to Make It
Heat the oven to 325°. In a large, heavy, ovenproof pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil over moderately high heat. Add the veal roast and brown well on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the veal. Pour off the butter and oil and wipe out any blackened bits with paper towels. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the pot over moderate heat. Add the vegetables, parsley, the 2 teaspoons dried thyme and the bay leaf and cook, covered, until the vegetables have begun to soften, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the veal with the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Top with the bacon. Put the veal in the pot with the vegetables and cover. Roast in the oven, basting occasionally, until done, about 11/2 hours. Transfer the veal to a carving board and leave to rest in a warm spot for about 15 minutes.
Pour off most of the fat from the pot. Strain the cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and press the vegetables to get all the liquid. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the cream, vermouth and the 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, if using, and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Strain and stir in the fresh thyme, if using.
Remove the bacon and strings from the veal roast and slice it. Serve with the thyme sauce.
Loin of Veal with Marjoram Cream:
For an equally delicious alternative, use marjoram in place of the thyme. It has a stronger flavor than thyme, so add only 11/2 teaspoons of dried when cooking the roast and 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried to the sauce.
Loin of Veal with Mustard and Thyme Cream:
For an easy and attractive alternative, add 1 tablespoon of grainy mustard to the finished sauce.
Loin of Veal with Thyme Jus:
Omit the cream and boil the sauce down to 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup.