Veal Orloff

This is a much simplified version of a classic French recipe for roasted veal; it is a rich and impressive dish. Serve with plain vegetables such as boiled rice or creamed potatoes and chopped spinach.


serves 4
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 kg (2 1/2 - 3 lb) piece boneless veal (leg or loin)
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large onions, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bouquet garni
Butter for frying
175 g (6 oz) mushrooms, cleaned and chopped

For the cheese sauce:
25 g (1 oz) butter
40 g (1 1/2 oz) flour
150 ml (1/4 pint) hot milk
Pinch of grated nutmeg
75 g (3 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated


1. If the butcher has not done so, tie the veal with string to ensure that it keeps its shape during cooking.

2. Heat 2 spoons of oil in a flameproof casserole. Add the veal and brown quickly on all sides over high heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and lower the heat.

3. Cut one onion into quarters and add to the casserole with the carrots, bouquet garni and enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Cover with a lid and transfer to a fairly hot oven (200°C/400°F or Gas Mark 6).

4. Braise for 30 minutes, then lower heat to moderate (180°C/350°F or Gas Mark 4) and continue braising for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices of the meat run clear when the meat is pierced with a skewer.

5. Take the meat from the casserole and keep hot. (The pan juices and vegetables can be used to make a gravy to serve with the meat if liked.)

6. Meanwhile, melt a knob of butter in a small pan. Chop the remaining onion very finely and add to the pan. Fry for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Season to taste, set aside and keep warm.

7. To prepare cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

8. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring vigorously. When all the milk is incorporated, return the pan to the heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring constantly.

9. Lower the heat. Season to taste and add the nutmeg and 50 g (2 oz) of the grated cheese. Cook for a further 2 minutes or until the cheese melts into the sauce.

10. Carve the veal into four to six slices, untying strings as necessary. Divide the mushroom mixture equally between the slices and reshape the veal on a hot heatproof serving platter. Pour over the hot cheese sauce and sprinkle with the remaining 25 g (1 oz) (1 oz) grated cheese.

11. Put the platter in a fairly hot oven (200°C/400°F or Gas Mark 6) for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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