Pan Roasted Veal with Sage

Reprinted with permission from The Community Table
by Judy Bernstein Bunzl, Katja Goldman, and Lisa Rotmil

In memory of Marcella Hazan, who sadly passed away in 2013 and is rightly credited with bringing classic Italian cooking to America, we’re including our adaptation of her roasted veal. Jewish American cooks adopted her as our Italian “nonna” because her husband Victor was proudly Italian, Jewish, and American. Marcella’s recipes teach us that high-quality ingredients cooked in the simplest ways can result in the most delicious meals. Traditionally, Italian households didn’t have an oven and therefore many of their classic dishes are cooked stovetop, as here. If you are very lucky, there will be some leftovers, which will make the most amazing sandwiches. One idea: Stack the slices of veal with caramelized onions, tomatoes, and arugula, on whole wheat bread, and schmear with a mustard mayonnaise.

Note: This recipe doubles very well. Make sure to get two equal-size roasts and not one large piece.

Serves 4 to 5


  • 1 (2½-to-3-pound) tightly rolled and tied veal shoulder roast, no more than 3 inches in diameter
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • About ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 medium shallots, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 1/3 cups dry white wine
  • 6 ounces baby carrots
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or tarragon, for garnish
  1. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Tuck the garlic slices into the roast wherever you can find an opening. Tuck 4 sage leaves under the string. Season with the pepper.
  2. In an enamel pot or heavy-bottomed saucepan into which the meat just fits, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Don’t worry if the sage leaves darken. Season with the salt and transfer the meat to a large plate.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they begin to color, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 sage leaves, the rosemary sprigs, bay leaf, and wine and bring to a boil.
  4. Return the meat to the pan. Reduce the heat to a very slow simmer and add the carrots. Set the cover slightly askew and braise, turning the meat from time to time, until the roast is fork-tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the pan seems dry while the meat is cooking, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
  5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it rest at least 10 minutes. There should be some pan sauce; if there isn’t, add 1/3 cup water, deglaze the pan over high heat, and reduce until thick. Discard the rosemary sprigs and bay leaf. Cut the roast into slices about 1/8 inch thick and place on a platter with the carrots alongside. Drizzle the pan sauce over the veal, garnish with parsley, and pass additional sauce to serve.

Note: We like to serve this veal garnished with fried sage leaves for an extra flourish: Heat ¼-inch of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Slip 6 sage leaves into the oil and fry until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet and let drain on paper towels. If you do this ahead of time, you can use the oil to brown the roasts.


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