Friday, March 23, 2007

Veal in Red Sauce

Veal shoulder, canned tomatoes, and mustard greens on sale this week at the local groceteria inspired this comfort food:

1.5 lb. piece of veal shoulder
2 28 oz. cans of peeled crushed tomatoes
1 largish onion
1 - as many as you want garlic cloves
1 cup cheap dry red wine
1 lb. bunch of mustard or other greens
olive oil
generous grinding of pepper, salt to taste
Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, brown the veal in olive oil on both sides. While the veal is cooking, chop the onion and garlic. When the veal is brown, set it aside on a plate. Put the onions and garlic in the pot and saute, stirring a couple of times, until just starting to brown. Add a splash more oil if they look dry. Add the tomatoes, red wine, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour. (If you were using beef shin or pork ribs, you would add the meat from the beginning, but veal is more tender.) Wash and chop the greens. Add the meat and greens to the pot, bring back to a simmer and cook until the meat is falling-apart tender, about an hour. Serve over pasta with a good grating of Parmesan.

Adding the greens to the sauce was an inspiration of the moment, to save a cooking pot, and the result is very good. The slight bitterness of the greens is a nice counterpoint to the richness of the meat and tomatoes, and they add a little textural contrast as well. Next time, I may try this with broccoli raab, adding the veggie later in the cooking time than for greens.

OK, I should have taken a picture. But then I would have had to clean off the table in order to set a nice scene, and everything just got too complicated from there.

Servings - the meat about 4, with some sauce left over. I put a couple of servings in the freezer for later; they will be welcome some evening when there's no time to cook but a comforting meal is needed.

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