Vitello contadina

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
3½ pounds Veal, top round, trimmed ( in one piece )
2 smalls Rosemary, sprigs OR
¾ teaspoon Rosemary, dried
8 ounces Pancetta (Italian bacon) (unsmoked) OR
8 ounces Bacon
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
2 eaches Bay leaves
\N \N Nutmeg, grated
\N \N Pepper, coarsely ground
1 ounce Mushrooms, Porcini, dried soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, reserve the soaking liquid
6 tablespoons Butter, unsalted
3 mediums Garlic, cloves, peeled
\N \N Salt
½ cup Wine, white, dry
½ cup Vermouth
⅓ cup Almonds, coarsely ground

Make a deep incision down the center of the veal, being careful not to cut all the way through; gently open it out flat as you would a book. Trim off and reserve any irregular pieces of meat along the edges, leaving a neat, compact shape.

Place rosemary along the center of the meat. Top the meat with half of the pancetta, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle with parsley and top with remaining pancetta, bay leaves, nutmeg and pepper.

Drain the porcini mushrooms, reserving and straining the liquid.

Rinse the porcini in cool water, drain again, chop coarsely and place on the top of the meat.

Top with any reserved meat trimmings. Close up meat compactly and tie with kitchen twine, going once around lengthwise and several times around crosswise. Pat dry.

Melt the butter in a deep casserole over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 6 minutes, then discard the garlic. Add the stuffed roast, season with salt, and cook until lightly golden on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add wine and vermouth, basting the meat. Cover the casserole, lower heat to medium low and cook, turning and basting occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Stir in the almonds and ½ cup of reserved mushroom-soaking liquid. Cook, turning and basting occasionally, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Transfer the meat to carving board and let it stand for 10 minutes or longer.

Boil the sauce until lightly reduced. Cut the roast into ½-inch-thick slices; if necessary, reheat the slices in the casserole. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Source: New York's Master Chefs, Bon Appetit Magazine : Written by Richard Sax, Photographs by Nancy McFarland : The Knapp Press, Los Angeles, 1985 Chef: Alfredo Viazzi, Cafe Domel Restaurant, New York

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