Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roast Veal with Plums

Lincoln's Birthday is also the birthday of Son the lawyer (and Federal employee), but daughter was out of town, so we celebrated his birthday on Monday of President's Day. This wasn't a terrific choice because the weather folks were calling for dire happenings, sleet, snow, rain, ice and something called "Wintry mix," which always reminds me of either mixed nuts, or some kind of paint. Threatened bad weather meant his mother-in-law to be couldn't come and that was too bad. But, Jake, his law school buddy and duck hunter came, and we had a good time.

I had been wanting to make Roast Veal with Plums for some time. One hurdle was the canned plums "in heavy syrup." Alas, canned plums were unfamiliar to such emporiums of consumable s goods such as Safeway, Giant and Whole Foods.

As usual, Internet to the rescue! I googled whole plums in heavy syrup and discovered that they were to be purchased at ...Wegman's! The Washington area now has its own Wegman's, deep in the heart of Prince George's County. Well, as a person who used to work in Prince George's County and appreciated its down to earth weirdness, I say it's about time that PG has something that no one else has. Daughter and her friend love Wegman's so she was dispatched to buy plums and did.

The meat was also a potential hurdle. I suspect Safeway, or at least our Safeway, has fired all its butchers. There are guys who cut up meat, but they can't do anything special for you. Safeway does have veal, but it's the scallops, that come already cut up in a Styrofoam dish. I did not think a rolled boned leg of veal would be available there. Whole Foods came through with the meat. So by Sunday I had both the plums and the meat and was ready to go to work on Monday after a depressing stint looking for a mother of the groom outfit.

This is a good recipe. We had all the ingredients, down to a cup of Rhine wine. (We didn't have fresh dill, but we had dried and it was fine. ) I did not go through the last step of putting all the vegetables and juice through a food mill. The meat course is the one I take the least time with. I want to put it in the oven, take it out and serve it. I don't want to monkey around with the meat after it's cooked. It proved to be excellent.

Roast Veal with Plums

1 three-and -one-half pound rolled boned leg of veal, tied (reserve bones) (unless you have a real butcher, you probably won't get bones)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 clove garlic crushed
4 slices lean bacon
1 one pound can dark plums in heavy syrup
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, quartered
1 bunch fresh dill weed pulled into small twigs
1 cup Rhine wine

Roast Veal with Plums

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Season the roast with salt and pepper and rub with the garlic. Lay the bacon over the top and secure with string. Place the roast, seam side up in a shallow roasting pan.
3. Drain the plums, reserving the syrup. Place the plums, veal bones, onions, carrots, celery and dill around the roast.
4. Combine the plum syrup and wine. Roast the meat, uncovered, thirty minutes, basting frequently with the plum-wine syrup.
5. Turn the meat, seam side down, and continue roasting and basting well about two hours longer , covering with an aluminum foil tent if roast begins to brown too much.
6. Remove the roast to a warm platter. Strain the juices. Pass the vegetables and plums through a sieve or food mill and add to the strained juices. Heat, season with salt and pepper and serve with roast.
Serves 4-6.

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