Cook the Book: Veal and Peppers

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

When it's cold outside I rely on my oven more than our old temperamental radiators—a slow braise warms the kitchen like nothing else. Since the Braised Duck with Niçoise Olives and Rosemary I made earlier this week was such a success, I decided to try out another braise from Salt to Taste by Marco Canora.

Much like Wednesday's duck, veal is another protein I don't cook very frequently but this recipe for Veal and Peppers seemed like an ideal cold-weather meal. Canora recommends using veal breast since it has a good deal of fat but really, any type of stew meat could be substituted.

Although the recipe is pretty standard sear-and-braise, what sets it apart is the onions and peppers that are sauteed separately and added in the final stage of cooking to preserve their individual flavors. Once the peppers and onions are added, the veal is super tender and the thick sauce is richly flavored with the wonderful combination of slowly-cooked meat, sage, sweet peppers, and onions.

Be prepared, this stew makes for some serious soppage, so make sure to have plenty of crusty bread on hand.ye

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As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Salt to Taste to give away this week.

Cook the Book: Veal and Peppers

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About This Recipe

Yield:4 to 6

Ingredients

  • About 51⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 5 fresh sage leaves plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
  • 11⁄2 pounds boneless veal stew meat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • About 3⁄4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups diced red or yellow peppers
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Procedures

  1. 1

    Combine 31⁄2 tablespoons oil, the garlic, and 5 sage leaves in a large skillet. Heat over high heat. When the garlic and sage begin to brown, about 5

  2. 2

    minutes, remove them from the pan and reserve.

  3. 3

    While the oil heats, dry the meat on paper towels. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add about half of it to the pan. Cook, turning the meat, until it is browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl with a

  4. 4

    slotted spoon and brown the second batch.

  5. 5

    Return the browned veal and reserved sage and garlic to the skillet. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the fond (browned bits) as the wine simmers and reduces.

  6. 6

    When the pan is almost dry, add the tomato paste. Stir to coat the meat with the tomato. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add 1⁄2 cup broth. Reduce the

  7. 7

    heat, partially cover the pan, and simmer gently until the meat is almost tender, about 1 hour, adding more broth from time to time to prevent the pan from getting too dry.

  8. 8

    Meanwhile, heat a skim of oil, about 2 tablespoons, over high heat in another skillet. Add the peppers and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook,

  9. 9

    stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften and caramelize, about

  10. 10

    7 minutes. Remove the peppers and onions from the heat.

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