Braised leg of veal in tomato and olives

Neil Perry
Braised leg of veal in tomato and olives.
Braised leg of veal in tomato and olives. Photo: William Meppem

Here's a lovely wintery meal idea - the veal ideally served with a crusty loaf of bread for mopping up juices. This recipe also works with a rolled pork loin - just extend the braising time.

Ingredients

1.2kg boneless veal leg, trussed

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

3 cups dry white wine

1/2 cup raisins

1/3cup sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup unpitted green olives

1/2 cup unpitted black olives

3 sprigs rosemary

6 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups tomato purée

Method

1. Take the veal leg (also known as the nut) out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking and season with salt.

2. Warm 1/2 cup wine with 1/2 cup water in a saucepan on a medium heat and add raisins. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook for a few minutes until they become plump but still hold their shape. Turn off heat and allow to sit.

3. Slice sun-dried tomatoes into strips. Crush olives and remove their stones. Roughly chop leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary.

4. In a large cast-iron casserole pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat 4 tbsp oil over a medium heat. Seal veal well on all sides until a nice brown crust forms, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and reserve.

5. Drain raisins and add to the pot along with the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and chopped rosemary. Stir for about a minute then add remaining wine and scrape any bits off the base of the pot. After about a minute, add the tomato purée and bring the sauce to a simmer, then add the veal, along with any juices, and cover the pot with its lid.

6. Simmer very gently for about 1 hour. Remove the lid and baste the veal with the sauce, adding more water if needed. Replace the lid and continue to braise for another 1/2 hour or so, until the meat is fork-tender. Remove from heat and allow to sit in the pot with the lid on to rest for about 15-20 minutes.

7. Fry remaining rosemary sprigs in 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.

8. Remove veal from the pot and carve into thick slices. Serve on a large, deep platter surrounded by some of the sauce. Any extra sauce can be served in a small bowl on the side. Garnish with fried rosemary and serve with crusty bread.