Sunday, 6 November 2011

Italian style rosé veal pie

A special parcel arrived for me this week...Now, it's not unusual for special parcels to arrive at my house (the postman must hate me given the frequency of his visits), it seems like every week I have lovely purchases delivered - shoes, books, music, dresses, etc etc, but this weeks star parcel wasn't of any of those things, it was meat. Rosé veal to be precise. 10kgs of it. 

It came from the fabulous Heaves Farm Veal company, a lovely family run business that rear rosé veal in Cumbria. It's because of them that an ardent foodie like me gets to enjoy a meat previously avoided for ethical reasons because their meat is welfare reared - having a fantastic taste and being guilt free. 

There will be many veal recipes over these coming weeks and months as I work my way through the box of treats, but the chill that arrived in the air this weekend meant that first up had to be a pie.

Italian style is this creation; slow cooked rosé veal in white wine with pancetta, anchovy, garlic, carrot and celery - a light but substantial combination of ingredients that are made even more delicious when encased in puff pastry. 

Pie for four (or two VERY greedy people):
1kg braising rosé veal 
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 golden onion, peeled and diced
2 celery sticks, washed and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 rashers smoked pancetta or streaky bacon, snipped up
Half a bottle of Italian dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
8 anchovy fillets (not the fresh deli counter variety)
Half a pint of cold water
1.5 packets of puff pastry (I prefer the block rather than the roll)
A couple of tablespoons corn flour, mixed up with enough water to form a paste
A tablespoon sugar
A pinch of sea salt and several generous scrunches of black pepper
Unsalted butter
Buttered peas to serve 
Plain flour for rolling out 
1 egg for glazing the pastry

- Into a slow cooker or casserole dish place all the ingredients apart from the pastry, then turn on to cook slowly until the meat is tender and casserole like - this will depend on how you cook it and at what temperature, but somewhere between 3 and 5 hours ish
- Once done, remove the meat and leave it to cool (very important when you assemble the pie that you do so using a cold filling) and reduce the liquor on the hob on a moderate heat until it has gone down to leaving you with approximately a pint
- When you're at that point, mix in the corn flour very gradually (difficult to say how much is needed here as it will depend on how your pie has cooked) but add it a little at a time, stirring it in and waiting for it to thicken before adding more, you're looking for a gravy like texture
- When the thickness is as you like, continue to cook it for around 10-15 minutes to 'cook out' the flavour of the flour, then turn the pan off and add the veal and carrot mix to the pan, coating the meat in the sauce, then leave the lot to cool
Once the filling has cooled its time to make the pie
- Preheat your oven to 175 degrees
- Butter your pie dish and make sure your pastry has been out of the fridge for 30 minutes before you start using it
- Lightly flour a work surface and place the first full block of puff pastry in the centre, begin rolling it out remembering a couple of rules - keep running your hands over the pastry to see if its 'damp' feeling and if it is give it a little bit of flour to stop it sticking to the worktop or the rolling pin, and after rolling it one way, turn the pastry round to roll the other angle, rather than roll the pin the other way on the pastry whilst keeping it in the same place
- Roll the sheet out enough so that you can lay it inside the pie case (you might need to keep picking it up and draping it in the case to see if it's big enough) and once its done lay it in there and gently press into the corners and edges of the case
- Pick the pie dish up in one hand, and using the other hand with a sharp knife trim off the excess hanging over the edge, you do this by bringing the knife up from underneath and running the blade along the edge of the dish, slicing the pastry off
- Once done fill the pie with the mixture and then brush the edge that will join to the top layer of pastry with egg, before rolling out the remaining half block of puff and laying it over the top
- Make a cross hole in the centre of the pie so the steam can escape, then use the back of a fork to press the edges of the pie to the side of the dish, sealing it shut
(decorate as you feel appropriate or otherwise)
- Pop into the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbling (over the edge probably)

- Serve with buttered peas 


  1. Wow this looks yummy. I really like rose veal and am glad that it's getting more readily available and hopefully losing some of the bad press (rightfully) associated with most veal.

    Love the blog by the way! A x

  2. SecretDiaryofaFoodie7 November 2011 at 09:35

    Thank you!

    Me too - so good we can enjoy it now and know its come from a much better place, hopefully the awareness and demand for it will continue to grow, its so tasty!

    Liking the look of yours too - I have clicked to follow so looking forward to seeing what you get up to!