A stuffed veal loin was served the inaugural dinner for President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

INGREDIENTS

For the stuffing
1-1/2 oz. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked in 1-1/2 Cups hot water for 20 minutes and drained, reserving the liquid
1/2 Cup minced shallots
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup minced celery
3/4 Cup minced carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp dried Rosemary, crumbled
1/8 tsp dried Sage, Rubbed
1/8 tsp dried Marjoram
1/8 tsp dried Thyme Leaf
1-1/2 Tbsp finely-chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbsp Cognac
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 Cup chicken broth
1/4 lb small white mushrooms, finely chopped (about 1-1/4 Cups)
1/3 Cup heavy cream
1/2 Cup bread crumbs

For the roast veal
2-1/2- to 3-lb boned veal loin (preferably naturally-raised) trimmed, a 1-1/2-inch-wide slit cut lengthwise through the center of the loin, and the loin tied loosely at 1-inch intervals with kitchen string
1-1/2 Cups chicken broth
thin slices of fatback for covering the veal
white pepper to taste

16 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (about 1 oz), soaked in 1 cup hot water for 20 minutes, drained, and patted dry, for garnish if desired
1 Tbsp Olive Oil, if desired

Fresh thyme sprigs

STEPS

Make the stuffing:  Cut the stems from the soaked shiitake mushrooms, discarding them, and finely chop the remaining shiitake. (This should yield about 1 Cup packed finely-chopped mushrooms). Strain the reserved liquid through a fine sieve to remove any grit and reserve it for the sauce.

In a large skillet, sauté the shallots in the oil over moderately-low heat, stirring, until they are softened. Add the celery, carrot and garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the rosemary, the sage, marjoram, thyme, parsley, and the Cognac, and cook the mixture, stirring to combine, for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, broth, white mushrooms, and the chopped shiitake to the skillet. Cook the mixture, its surface covered with a round of buttered wax paper, lifting to occasionally stir underneath, until the mushrooms are tender.

Once mushrooms have become tender, raise the heat under the skillet and boil the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated from the pan. Stir in the cream, then the bread crumbs, and season the mixture with salt and white pepper. Cook the seasoned stuffing over moderate heat, stirring, until it is thickened. Allow the stuffing to cool.

We recommend you make the stuffing one day in ahead of time, then keep covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature before the veal is stuffed.

Prepare the veal:  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, pack the stuffing into the slit in the veal loin, a little at a time (there will be room, if the loin is tied loosely enough). Transfer the stuffed veal loin to a roasting pan that is just large enough to accommodate it. Add 1 Cup of the stock to the pan.

Cover the veal with the fatback and roast it in the middle of a preheated 325°F. oven for 1 hour, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes.  Remove the fatback and continue roasting the veal for another 45 minutes or up to 1 hour more, until internal temperature registers 150°F. on a meat thermometer.  Remove the veal from the roasting pan and transfer to a cutting board, allowing it to rest for 15 minutes.

While the veal is standing, skim the fat from the pan juices, add the remaining 1/2 Cup stock, and deglaze the pan over high heat, scraping up the brown bits, until the mixture is reduced by half. Strain the reduction mixture through a fine sieve set over a saucepan.

Bring the liquid to a boil with the reserved shiitake liquid you set aside earlier, whisking, and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, or until it is thickened slightly. Season the sauce to taste with additional salt and the white pepper.

In a skillet, sauté the optional additional shiitake in the oil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through.

To serve: Cut the stuffed roast veal into 16 slices, arrange 2 slices on each plate, and (if using) garnish each serving with 2 of the sautéed shiitake and some of the thyme sprigs.

Serves 8

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