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Roasted Veal with Whole Garlic (Roti di Veau a l'Ail)

Roasted Veal with Whole Garlic (Roti di Veau a l?Ail)
Veal is frequently used in France, and butchers offer a variety of cuts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless veal loin or rib roast, about 3 1/2 lb.
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 lb. fatback, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 6 garlic heads
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

Rub the roast with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and 3/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Put the bay leaves and thyme sprigs on top, then lay the sliced fatback along the top. Tie into a neat roll with kitchen string. Cut the upper 1/4 inch off the top of each garlic head. Rub the heads with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Put the roast, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Place the garlic heads and garlic cloves in the pan around the rack.

Roast, occasionally basting the garlic heads with the pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 130ºF for medium-rare, 45 to 50 minutes, or 145°F for medium-well, about 1 hour. Transfer the roast and the garlic to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, set the pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add the white wine and deglaze, stirring to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom. Add the water and stir until reduced a bit, 1 to 2 minutes.

Cut the roast into slices about 1/2 inch thick, remove the fatback and kitchen string, and arrange on a platter with the garlic heads. Drizzle with a little of the sauce and pass the remaining sauce at the table.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring France, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1999).