Italian veal rolls

The cheese sticks must not protrude from the ends of the rolls, or the cheese will ooze out during cooking.
For a Special occasion use Gruyere cheese, Parma ham, and dry white wine or vermouth instead of chicken stock.


serves 4
500 g (1 lb) veal topside or rump, cut across the grain of the meat into 8 equal-sized pieces
4 thin square slices cooked ham, halved
1 tablespoon French mustard (optional)
150 g (5 oz) Edam or Gouda cheese, cut into 8 sticks 5 x 1 cm (2 x 1/2 inch)
25 g (1 oz) butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
100 g (4 oz) mushrooms, sliced
400 g (14 oz) can tomatoes, drained and chopped
75 ml (3 fl oz) chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
snipped chives, to garnish


1. Place the veal pieces between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and pound with a wooden rolling pin or mallet, to flatten to the same size as the halved ham slices. Spread the ham slices with the mustard, if using.

2. Place a slice of ham on each piece of veal, mustard side down if used. Place a cheese stick at one end, then roll the veal and ham up around the cheese. Tie the rolls at both ends with fine string.

3. Heat the butter with the oil in a large frying-pan. When sizzling, add the veal rolls and fry over moderate heat for about 6 minutes to brown on all sides. Remove the rolls from the pan with a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs and leave to drain on absorbent paper.

4. Add the onion and garlic, if using, to the pan and fry for 5 minutes over gentle heat until soft and lightly coloured. Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for a further 3 minutes.

5. Stir the tomatoes, stock and oregano into the pan, add the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Return the veal rolls to the pan and turn in the sauce.

6. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook gently for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the veal is tender and the sauce has reduced by about one-half.

7. Remove the rolls from the pan and carefully remove the string. Place the rolls in a warmed serving dish and keep hot. Discard the bay leaf from the sauce and taste and adjust seasoning.

8. Spoon the sauce over the veal rolls and sprinkle with chives. Serve.

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