Veal with Applesauce and Polenta: Vitello con Mele

Total Time:
2 hr 45 min
15 min
Inactive Prep:
2 hr 30 min
4 servings


  • Brown Chicken Stock:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 bunch parsley stems
    • 1 1/2 pound veal breast
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 pounds apples, cored and cut into 6 slices each
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 1 quart chicken stock, recipe follows
    • Soft polenta, recipe follows
        • 4 cups water
        • 2 tablespoons salt
        • 1 cup polenta or cornmeal
        • 1/2 cup stracchino cheese, cut into cubes


          In a 3-quart saucepan, heat water and salt until boiling. Drizzle in polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until all polenta is incorporated and mixture begins to thicken. Switch to a wooden spoon, pull off heat and continue to stir until thick as paste.

          Stir in the cheese and continue to stir until it is melted and incorporated.

          Season the veal breast all over with salt and pepper. Roll the meat over on itself and tie off with butcher's twine to form a roll.

          In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add the meat and sear on all sides until dark golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove the meat and set aside. Add the apples and flour to the pan and cook, stirring to coat the apples with the flour, for 3 minutes. Add the cinnamon, red wine and chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, add the veal breast, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Remove the meat and set aside.

          Once the braising liquid has cooled for 10 to 15 minutes, place in a blender or food processor and puree. Slice the meat and serve with the puree poured over, and polenta on the side.

          In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add all the chicken parts and brown all over, stirring to avoid burning. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 3 quarts of water, the tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned chicken and vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours, occasionally skimming excess fat. Remove from heat, strain, and press on the solids with the bottom of a ladle to extract out all liquids. Stir the stock to facilitate cooling and set aside. Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

          Yield: 1 1/2 quarts