Veal Loin Stuffed with Pancetta, Pistachios and Sweetbreads


Special Occasion Veal
  • 2 pounds veal sweetbreads, trimmed of membrane and soaked in ice water overnight
  • 2 ounces pancetta, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup carrot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup pistachios, shelled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup sherry wine
  • 1 cup veal stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup spinach, cooked
  • 2 pound veal strip loin roast, boneless, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups small potatoes, roasted


  1. Remove sweetbreads from ice water and plunge into a large pot of boiling water.  Boil 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place back into ice bath to cool.
  2. When sweetbreads are completely cooled, remove from ice bath, and place on a towel to drain.  Set aside.
  3. In a 3 quart casserole or large skillet, cook pancetta over medium high heat until pancetta is browned and most of the fat has rendered out.  Remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside.
  4. Season the sweetbreads with salt and pepper, and place into the rendered pancetta fat over medium high heat.  Sear until golden brown on all sides.
  5. Add the celery, onion, carrots, olive oil, pistachios, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and cooked pancetta into the pan.  Let cook 3-5 minutes
  6. Pour the sherry and veal stock over the vegetable mixture in the pan.  Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook 20-25 minutes.
  7. When the vegetable mixture has finished cooking, remove the bay leaf and thyme and discard.
  8. Place a medium strainer over a bowl, and pour the vegetable mixture into the strainer.  Reserve both the vegetables and the sauce separately.
  9. Remove the sweetbreads from the vegetables and chop into ½ inch pieces.
  10. In a medium bowl, make stuffing by combining spinach, half of chopped sweetbreads, half of vegetable mixture and 2 tablespoons of the sauce.  Mix to combine.
  11. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a damp work surface, and spoon out the stuffing – about 2 inches wide, and a little longer than the veal loin.  Tightly wrap the stuffing up in the plastic wrap in the shape of a sausage, and tie both ends tightly with butcher’s twine.
  12. Place veal loin on cutting board, and using a sharp knife, make an incision, about 1-2 inches wide in one end of the loin, about half way through, parallel to the cutting board.  Make a similar incision in the other end, about half way through, so that you have created a pocket through the loin for the stuffing.
  13. Pull one end of the plastic-wrapped stuffing all of the way through the loin, until the stuffing is completely centered inside the veal.  Then, tightly tie the loin in 5 different places with butcher’s twine, to help it keep its round shape.
  14. Carefully cut off one end of the plastic wrap from the stuffing.  Grasp the other end in your fingers, and pull slowly to remove the plastic wrap while squeezing the stuffing out so that it stays in place inside of the loin.
  15. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  16. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil.  Sear the stuffed loin on all sides until brown.  Place pan in preheated oven and cook 25 to 30 minutes.
  17. Remove loin from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes.
  18. Place the reserved sauce in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add remaining sweetbreads and remaining vegetable mixture.
  19. Remove the twine from around the loin, and slice into 1 inch thick slices.  Serve stuffed loin with sauce and roasted potatoes.


    • Bacon could be substituted for pancetta, however, pancetta is a little fattier than bacon so it would add more flavor to the roast.
    • Using a damp surface when laying out the plastic wrap is important, because it helps the plastic to stick which enables you to roll the stuffing up more tightly