Rôti de veau aux petits légumes

Veal roast with seasonal veggies

This roast of veal may be served two ways — hot, surrounded by seasonal vegetables, as shown above, or cold, with veggies and tarragon mayonnaise. Either way it makes an easy supper dish that may be adapted to the season.

In warm weather, I like to serve it cold, with asparagus, green beans and fresh peas in spring, as show at right, or with roasted tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant in summer. In winter I’d serve it hot with, say, roasted carrots, potatoes and red onions.

In this recipe, the veal is first browned in a skillet and then roasted in the oven. For best results, have your butcher bard and tie the roast. Count about half a pound (200 g) per person. And choose the freshest veggies on the market.

For the mayo, you will need fresh tarragon and a blender, which chops the leaves more finely than you could do by hand. And while mayo recipes generally call for lemon juice, this one uses red wine vinegar, which marries well with the tarragon.

The quantities below will serve three people.

1 small veal roast (1-1/2 pound, 600 g)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
10 spears fresh asparagus
1/2 pound (250 g) fresh green beans
1/2 pound (250 g) fresh peas in the pod
salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the cold version: a little fresh lemon juice and olive oil

For the mayo:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
3 branches fresh tarragon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (350 F, 180 C).

Dry off the roast with paper towels. Lightly oil a roasting pan. Peel and halve the garlic.

Heat the olive oil to sizzling in a skillet. Brown the roast on all sides. This takes about ten minutes. After the first five minutes, add the garlic to the skillet.

Transfer the browned veal to the roasting pan. Pour the cooking juices over it and roast for 30 minutes. (Please note that if you are using a larger roast, you will need to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes per extra half pound / 200 g.) Check for doneness by inserting a sharp knife into the center of the roast. If the juice comes out clear, it’s done. If the juice comes out pink, roast for another five minutes.

While the veal is roasting, pare the veggies. Rinse and trim the asparagus and beans, and shell the peas. Place in a steamer basket above water. Turn on the heat when the roast comes out of the oven and steam for five minutes, until just tender.

When the roast is done, sprinkle with salt and grind on some black pepper.

If serving the roast hot, let it sit for about five minutes. During this time, add 1/4 cup (10 cl) water to the roasting pan, stir to blend with the juices, add a little salt, transfer to a small pot and heat to make a sauce. Transfer the veal and veggies to a serving plate. Drizzle with the sauce. Serve piping hot.

If serving the roast cold, allow it to cool to room temperature when it comes out of the oven, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for easier slicing. You can leave the veggies at room temperature, or refrigerate, depending on how soon you plan to serve.

While the meat is cooling, make the mayonnaise. Add the egg yolk, mustard, wine vinegar, salt and pepper to your blender cup. Strip the tarragon leaves off the stems and add. Pulse briefly. Add about half the oil and pulse. Add the rest and pulse again. Transfer the mayo to a small dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Shortly before serving, transfer the veggies to a bowl or plate and dress with a squeeze of lemon, a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Slice the roast. Transfer to a serving plate. Arrange the veggies alongside and bring to the table with the tarragon mayonnaise.

Serves 3.

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