This is the type of meal that is really handy to have in your repertoire of great meals. Fancy, and plentiful enough to feed a crowd, a good roast will also make for great leftovers if you are cooking for only a few special people. An additional benefit to this slow-cooked, no-fuss recipe, is that you can pop it into the oven, and while it roasts you can move on to other things, like making a stove top dessert or painting your fingernails. Our parents, of course, will usually use this “down time” to roll a few keftedes or fold a few spanakopites. They are kitchen warriors!
You may assume that the veal is the star of this meal, and although it is delicious, make no mistake, these potatoes deserve equal billing. They are cooked slowly, marinating in the juices from the veal roast, and this brings out their inherent sweetness. Cooked this way, they transform from humble spuds to elegant and tasty taters. People will talk about them for days, weeks, maybe even years! Which would actually be a bit strange…but understandable.
You may notice in this recipe that we are using two different systems of measurement. This is an attempt to make it easier for people from around the world (Hi Australia!) to follow our recipes. So, when we say “cup”, we mean a metric cup or 250 millilitres, and when we say “tablespoon”, this refers to the international tablespoon measure, which is the same as 15 millilitres. Moving forward, we will be presenting all of our recipes this way, and we will go back and add to our already existing recipes. If something is not clear, or if it’s simply wrong…please let us know. Remember, we were raised hearing mia kouppa! and other arbitrary things.
The ingredients used in this recipe are pretty straightforward, and there are no fancy cooking techniques. What you will need however, is time. A lot of time. The veal roast itself will need about one hour of cooking time for each kilogram of veal (or about 25 – 35 minutes per pound). Since the potatoes are cooked afterwards, you need to plan an additional 2 hours for the potatoes. All this cooking time likely means that this is a great weekend or day-off meal. Otherwise, you can choose to make the veal roast without the potatoes. Serving your veal with a side of steamed broccoli or stewed peas will cut the total cooking time down significantly. If you choose not to make the potatoes alongside the veal however, we strongly suggest (in fact, we insist) that you save the drippings from the veal roast anyways. Keep them in the fridge for use another day. Don’t think you will use it in the next day or two? Then simply freeze it. Whatever you do, don’t throw it away! It is too delicious and future potatoes will thank you.
If you decide to make both the roast and the potatoes you will need two roasting pans; one which is deep enough for the roast (and all the liquid it will cook with) and which will accommodate a roasting rack and you will also need a more shallow roasting pan for your potatoes. Much like the Greek style potatoes in our parents’ chicken and potato recipe, these potatoes will benefit from a roasting pan whose size will result in the liquid almost completely covering the potatoes (as pictured above).
Whenever you make a roast, it is a good idea to use a meat thermometer to help you figure out if your meat is done or not. Otherwise, you may be tempted to cut into your roast to see if it is to your liking…not a good idea, as this would cause juices which keep your meat moist, to seep out. We like to get our roast to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 70 degrees Celsius), which gives a roast which is medium done. Remember that your meat will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven (and may raise as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit). It is incredibly important to allow your meat to rest for at least 15 minutes. If you are making the potatoes as well, your roast will actually sit for much longer. Our parents cover it well with aluminum foil and allow it to rest on the stovetop while the potatoes cook. This keeps it nice and warm, without overcooking it.
To serve your veal roast, use a very sharp knife and a large fork or pair or tongs to keep it in place as you slice it. If you have an electric knife, this would be a good time to use it as well.
Leftover veal roast makes a great meal as is, warmed up slightly. You can also use a slice as the basis of a great sandwich. Layered with some tzatziki, lettuce and tomatoes on a crusty bun, a sandwich such as this would cause bologna everywhere to hang its head in shame.
Mia Kouppa:Veal roast with potatoes
- 3 kilogram (6.6 pound) veal roast
- 1 cup (250 mL) olive oil
- 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 cups (500 mL) water
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) steak spice
- 1 medium sized carrot
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 stalk celery For the potatoes
- 10 – 12 medium sized potatoes
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) dry Greek oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 mL) salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 177 degrees Celsius).
- Leave your veal at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes. Rinse well and then pat dry with paper towels.
- Make several slits around the veal roast and insert slivers of garlic into them.
- Rub the salt, pepper and steak spice all over the veal and place it on a rack in a roasting pan. Into the roasting pan pour the vegetable oil, olive oil and water. Roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery stalk and add these to the liquid base.
- Place your roasting pan, uncovered, in the center of your oven and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Cover your roasting pan and increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 205 degrees Celsius) and cook for an additional 30 minutes. The roast is medium done when the internal temperature measures 160 degrees Fahrenheit (about 71 degrees Celsius). Calculate approximately 25-35 minutes per pound.
- While your roast is in the oven, peel your potatoes and cut them into thick wedges (about 4- 6 wedges per potato). Allow them to soak in a bowl of cool water.
- Remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a heat proof platter. Cover loosely, but completely, with tin foil and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Once your veal is out of the oven, pass all of the liquid which is in the roasting pan through a fine sieve and add these juices (free of solids) to the roasting pan you will use for the potatoes. Drain your potatoes and add them to the pan. Mix in the juice of two lemons. Sprinkle on top the salt and dried oregano.
- Place your potatoes, uncovered, into the lower rack of your oven (still set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit / 205 degrees Celsius). Bake for approximately 2 hours, checking on them once in awhile to be sure that your pan has not dried out. If it has, add about 1/2 cup water. Enjoy!