Veal Pot Roast


by: Head Chef

In eighteenth-century France, a veal pot roast, called a fricandeau, represented the height of luxury. Nowadays, we think of roasts and grilled or sautéed tender cuts as the most desirable, but in past centuries, braised dishes were preferred. In fact, a pot roast develops a more complex flavor than a roast. The final texture is quite different, of course, having the bite of stew meat or even softer. French cooks call pot roast braised almost to the point of falling apart a la cuilliere, or "with a spoon", and indeed serve it with one. For this roast, you will need to order a veal shoulder clod, not a whole shoulder. (Tell your butcher that the number of the cut is 310 in the meat buyers guide.) The roast usually comes tied with string, which you will need to cut off if you are larding the meat. Larding the meat keeps it moist, but it requires a larding needle, fatback, and 20 minutes. The roast is cooked with aromatic vegetables in the oven until it releases its juices into the pot, and then it is braised on the stove top in broth, the liquid is reduced, and the roast is treated to a rich glaze. Makes 8 to 10 main-course servings.


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serves: 8

5 lb veal shoulder clod

4 pounds fatback (optional)



1 large carrot (peeled and cut into 1-inch sections)

1 large onion (quartered)

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 stalks from fennel bulb (cut into 1-inch sections) (optional)

1 turnip (peeled and quartered) (optional)

4 cups veal broth (chicken broth, or water, or as needed)

Bouquet garni

Nutrition Facts
Veal Pot Roast

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Amount per Serving

Calories: 2441

  • Total Fat: 242.2 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 74.1 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 425.6 mg
  • Sodium: 649 mg
  • Total Carbs: 4.7 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
  •     Sugars: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 55.8 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the string off the clod. Cut the rind off the fatback. Cut the fatback into strips 1/4 inch wide and thick and as long as you can make them. Lard the inside of the clod with the fatback as shown on page 193. Season the inside with salt and pepper. Turn the meat over, lard the outside, and season with salt and pepper. Tie the roast with kitchen string.

2.  Put the roast in a pot just large enough to hold it and deep enough that the roast doesn't extend above the rim. Surround the roast with the carrot, onion, garlic, fennel, and turnip and roast for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat releases its juices and they caramelize on the bottom of the pot. Check the roast often, so the juices don’t burn on the bottom of the pot.

3.  Put the pot on the stove top, pour in enough broth to come halfway up the sides of the roast, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn the heat down to maintain the gentlest simmer, and nestle the bouquet garni in the center of the pot. Cover the pot with a sheet of aluminum foil, pressing it down so the middle hangs over the roast. (This causes moisture that condenses within the pot to baste the roast from the inside.) Top with the lid and simmer over very low heat for 1 hour.

4.  Turn the roast over in the liquid - be gentle, it may be fragile - so the part that was submerged is now on top. Recover with the foil and lid and braise for 1 hour more. To test for doneness, slide a skewer into the roast and lift. If the roast clings to the skewer and rises up out of the pot as you lift, braise for 30 minutes more and check again. Keep braising until there is no resistance when you pull out the skewer. The braising can take as long as 4 hours.

5.  Transfer the roast to a clean pot or straight-sided pan - you can clean out the same pot - and strain the braising liquid into a saucepan. Discard the vegetables in the strainer. Place the pan of braising liquid off center on the burner so that the liquid simmers on only one side and pushes the fat to the other. Simmer for about 10 minutes, regularly skimming off any fat or froth. Then ladle about one-third of the braising liquid over the roast, put the uncovered roast back in the oven, and turn the oven down to 325°F. Continue simmering, skimming, and reducing the braising liquid. When the roast has been in the oven for 15 minutes, ladle over half of the reduced braising liquid. Simmer and skim the braising liquid for 10 minutes more, and then pour all of it over the roast. Baste the roast every 10 minutes for about 40 minutes, or until the braising liquid takes on a lightly syrupy consistency and the roast is shiny.

6.  Remove the roast from the pot. Spoon out portions or slice it thickly, and place the servings in warmed soup plates. Ladle the braising liquid over the meat.

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very nice