How to roast a whole round of veal

The round of veal is a roundish muscle that resembles a flattened sphere. It usually weighs about 4 pounds but can vary a lot in either direction. It is impeccably lean and tender and is used to make the finest scallops for such things as veal scallopini. Most people, however, substitute a cheaper cut. Yes, a round of veal is expensive but not as expensive as a lot of things and it makes a perfect and very elegant roast that you’re unlikely to have encountered anywhere else. One caveat: the veal must be perfectly cooked or it will be dry.

When you buy your round of veal, it will come “cap off” or “cap on.” The “cap” is a flat section of tough meat that partially surrounds the round and has to be trimmed off. You want this piece of meat for making your jus so when you buy the veal, ask for it cap on or, if the butcher removes the cap, be sure he gives it to you. This extra meat is essential for making a jus since the properly cooked round will release very little in the way of juices.

When you get your veal home, trim off the cap–just follow the natural separation of the muscles–and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Let the veal come to room temperature before you roast it. Brown the cubes with carrots and onions and place the tied up round of veal on top in a pan or pot just large enough to hold it. Roast the veal to an internal temperature of 132 degrees (it will rise 5 degrees as it rests) and transfer it to a platter. Cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Spoon or drain the fat off the caramelized juices in the pot or pan you used for roasting the veal. Add water or broth to the caramelized juices and simmer while scraping with a wooden spoon. Strain and transfer to a sauceboat.

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