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2000s Recipes + Menus

Veal Cacciatore

Serves6 to 8
  • Active time:40 min
  • Start to finish:4 hr
January 2009
Chicken cacciatore is a ubiquitous dish in Italian-American restaurants, but we think it is even more delicious when made with veal shoulder roast. Slowly braising the meat in a heady tomato sauce enriched with pancetta, olives, and porcini produces a dish so good, you’ll find yourself sneaking nibbles all the way to the table. It’s even better the next day—if you can contain yourself.

View more of our favorite recipes from this issue.
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup broken dried porcini (1/4 oz)
  • 1 (5- to 6-lb) boneless veal shoulder roast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 lb sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 (6-inch) rosemary sprigs
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 1/3 cup small brine-cured black olives such as Niçoise
  • Accompaniment:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle.
  • Bring wine to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in porcini and remove from heat.
  • Pat veal dry and season with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a wide 6- to 8-qt heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown veal, turning, about 12 minutes.
  • Transfer veal to a plate. Discard fat from pot and add remaining 2 Tbsp oil. Add pancetta and sauté over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes.
  • Drain porcini in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing on mushrooms and reserving wine. Coarsely chop porcini and add to pancetta mixture with carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in wine and cook until most has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes and add to pot with their juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add veal with meat juices from plate, rosemary, bay leaves, and olives. Cover pot and braise veal in oven, turning roast occasionally, until center of meat is fork-tender, 2 3/4 to 3 hours.
  • Transfer veal to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered. Simmer sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and a pinch of sugar if desired. Cut off strings from roast and discard bay leaves and rosemary. Thickly slice veal and return to pot, basting with sauce.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Veal can be braised and sliced 1 day ahead and chilled in sauce (covered once cool). Gently reheat in sauce.
  • We’ve also got a web-exclusive recipe using the leftover Niçoise olives.