The tradition goes on: Spinach Stuffed Veal Breast

As any other geek, I like to follow what's going on with new technologies. I can get excited about a new camera, a faster processor or the latest app to have on your phone. But I'm also attached to some traditions, the ones from my own region aswell as the ones from my family. I speak the local dialect, I like to know about our history, but obviously my favorit part is related to food.

This recipe is from my grandma, she teached it to my mum and now my mum is showing me how to prepare it. It's very traditional from my hometown, who actually takes credit for it, I won't go as far, because they like to claim a lot of things around here. Funnily enough, I didn't like it too much as a kid, and it's now one of my favorit sunday meal.

We got a lot of spinach this week, so the timing was perfect. It requires a little bit of planning ahead, because you have to prepare it the day before, but also some sewing skills to keep it all together. The sewing part isn't really my forte, but I guess it requires some practise. It's also handy to have a standmixer with a grinder, my mum owns a Kenwood, who might not be as pretty as my kitchenaid, but does the job perfectly.

I think it's important to pass these traditions on, and I can only hope that one day I will show my nephew or nieces how to make this dish. Because beside the recipe itself, the most important thing is the time spent together in the kitchen, making those recipe ready and sharing them with your loved one. I know those memories will stay.

Spinach Stuffed Veal Breast

Serves 8-10

1,8kg Veal Breast
1kg of Cooked Spinach
400gr of White Raw Sausages
2 Onions
3 Slices of White Sandwich Bread
200ml of Milk
200gr of Whole Canned Mushroom
100gr of Semolina
3 Eggs
Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg

Day 1

Asked your butcher to cut the veal breast in the shape of a pocket, to be stuffed, but check if there is no hole, otherwise you will need to sew them.

Put the slices of bread in the milk, to soak for a few minutes.

For the stuffing, the spinach has been blanched a few minutes, put into cold water and press between your hand to remove the excess of water. Pass the spinach thru the grinder aswell as the onion, and the slices of bread where you have remove the excess of milk.

To that mixture, add 3 eggs and press the stuffing out of the raw sausages into it. If you're brave, use your (clean) hands and work the mixture until everything is well combined.
At this point, add the semolina, the mushrooms, the salt, the pepper and the nutmeg. Mix again and check for seasoning. You might need to add more semolina in case the stuffing is too liquid.

Using a spoon, start stuffing the veal breast, press the stuffing down and try to leave just a little space on top, in order to sew it together, so it's closed. Leave it over night in the fridge, it will allow the semolina to absord moisture.

If you have some stuffing left, add a bit more semolina to it and form some balls. You will be able to cook them in the sauce and serve with the meat. Leave them in the fridge aswell.

Day 2

For the sauce:
2 Onions
Olive Oil
75cl of White Wine
1 Tablespoon of Flour
25cl of Water
1 Cube of Beef Stock
4 Veal Ribs

In a big cast iron casserole, heat up some olive oil, and color the stuffed veal breast on each side, it's a bit heavy, but be carefull not to break the pocket. When it has a nice color, take it out of the casserole and set it aside. Color the veal ribs aswell, and take them out for the moment.

Chop the onions and add them to that very same casserole, add some olive oil if needed. Let them color a little and take the flavor of the roasted meat.
Now add the tablespoon of flour, and with a wooden spoon, keep stiring until it has a light brown color. Pour the white wine in, delay your beef stock in the hot water and add it to the sauce too. Let it bubble a few minutes.

Turn the heat down a little and place the veal ribs in the sauce, on the bottom of the casserole, place the stuffed veal breast on top, this will prevent it from sticking, aswell as adding flavor to your sauce.
Leave it one hour in the sauce, turn it around half way thru.

Preheat your oven to 160°C

Take the stuffed veal breast out of the sauce and place it in an oven dish, finish cooking it in the oven for 1 hour, if it gets too much color, cover it with an aluminium foil.
At this point, add the stuffing balls you have prepared to the sauce, and let them cook for an hour.

Slice it with an electric knife, serve with some sauce and traditionally with some nuddles.

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