I happened to come by a Waitrose voucher a few months ago and decided to check out their online site so I could really stock up my freezer. I was really impressed at their range of frozen meat and fish and that it wasn’t any more expensive than the stuff I usually buy at Sainsburys. I stuffed my freezer full and felt very smug.
And then my freezer stopped working. More a whimper than a bang, it just slowly gave up the ghost and started defrosting over the floor. Luckily I was able to stow most of my meat stuffs in a couple of local friends’ freezers but the larger items such as the veal shoulder I impulse purchased didn’t fit so it seemed like a good time to invite friends round to eat.
I’d never heard of a veal shoulder before but I have a particularly soft spot for baby cow meat formed by childhood trips to Italy where veal was commonly eaten and not treated any differently emotionally than other kinds of meat. So when I saw a cut I hadn’t come across before, I couldn’t resist trying it out even though I had no idea how to cook it.
But a swift online search said slow and low and I welcomed the idea of getting the slow cooker out in the height of summer rather than putting the oven on. I made a marinade of yoghurt and herbs before cooking the shoulder on low for 8-10 hours until it fell apart with tenderness.
It was delicious but a little bit dry so I think I’d cook it for 8 hours maximum and make sure that you don’t use fat free yoghurt for the marinade. We ate it with a bulgur wheat salad and fattoush for a vaguely Middle Eastern feel and it was excellent.
But it really really came into its own the next morning when I made a hash with the leftovers. I fried the potatoes in beef dripping, added some paprika, flaked the leftover veal throughout and added chopped cornichons to make up for the lack of onions and added a poached egg on top. Absolutely my best breakfast of the year and worth the price of the whole shoulder alone.
Slow Cooker Veal Shoulder
- 850g- 1 kg veal shoulder joint
- 2 bunches of scallions, green part only if fodmapping
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 100g green olives
- 200ml full fat Greek yoghurt
- salt and pepper
- 1 heaped teaspoon pul biber (Turkish or Aleppo pepper flakes) to serve
This is stupidly easy to make. Simply make a paste by blending the parsley, mint, scallions and green olives together. Don’t worry if it’s a bit chunky. Mix the yoghurt with the herb and olive paste and spread over the seasoned veal shoulder.
I left mine to marinate for about 6 hours before getting my timings wrong and having to get up at 5am to turn the slow cooker to have the veal ready for lunch. Don’t leave it longer than 8 hours to marinate or the acid in the yoghurt gives a woolly texture to the meat.
Cook on low for 8 hours and then rest the meat for 30 minutes before serving sprinkled with the pul biber for a hint of heat. I also particularly liked the peppery bite of the fresh radishes from the fattoush with the slightly sweet flavour of the slow cooked meat. If you’ve never tried slow cooked veal before, this is a good place to start.