Veal Rolls Stuffed with Caramelized Shallots; state of the gardens

I made a big batch of caramelized shallots, using up what I had left from last summer’s harvest. I used most of them in the Sausage Pizza and but saved about 1/2 cup for these Veal Rolls or ‘Birds’.

I kept the rest of the recipe simple – so as to let the sweet shallots dominate.

Thinly sliced veal or beef, rolled around a variety of stuffing are found all around the Mediterranean.

The meat should be between 1/16th and 1/4th inch thick (.4cm). It’s best if you can have the butcher slice it.

Or buy veal scallops and pound them thinner if needed.

BTW – if you don’t happen to have kitchen string, unflavored dental floss works just fine….

Veal Rolls Stuffed with Caramelized Shallots

Total time: 70 minutes


  • 4 thin slices veal, app: 3 1/2 X 6 X 1/16th inches  (8 X 15 X .4cm),  about 8oz (240gr) total weight
  • 2 slices Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, cut in half to fit the veal
  • 1/4 cup black, dry-cured or Greek olives, chopped
  • 8 – 10 shallots, sliced, caramelized
  • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 12 fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) white wine
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240gr) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water

Veal Roll with Caramelized Shallots


  • Caramelize the shallots: Heat butter and 1 tbs oil over medium heat in a skillet.
  • Add shallots and cook, stirring every few minutes, until they are tender and turning translucent.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for 40 – 60 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until a rich, brown color.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Lay the veal slices flat. Pound to make thinner if needed.
  • Lay 1/2 slice of ham on top of each slice of veal.
  • Divide the olives and place on 1/3 of veal, towards the top of narrow end.
  • Divide the shallots and place next to the olives, toward the center. It all spreads out as you roll.
  • Divide the marjoram leaves and lay on shallots.
  • Starting from the narrow end (where the olives are) roll the parcels up, keeping them as tight as reasonable. 
  • Tie securely with kitchen string.
  • Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in small, heavy pot or skillet. Add the veal rolls and brown lightly on all sides.
  • Pour in the wine, tomatoes, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • To finish: Dissolve cornstarch in water.
  • Remove veal rolls to a small platter and carefully remove string.
  • Increase heat under sauce. Add cornstarch, stirring until clear and thickened. Spoon over rolls and serve.

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My gardens are ready.


The weeds have been pulled, the perennials either trimmed back or replaced and the bunny fences reinforced.

In my herb garden the oregano and garlic chives on the left and the marjoram on the right are already being harvested and used in the kitchen.

In the middle, left, I have some sage that survived the winter, and, on the right, an aloe plant that was a gift and outgrew it’s pot. We’ll see if it grows….

At the far end I pulled out the old thyme plants and replaced them with 2 Serpolet Thyme and 2 Lemon Thyme. On the right is 1 new tarragon and 2 old ones just peaking through the dirt.

When the weather warms sufficiently I’ll plant the basil I’m growing in pots, and parsley and chive seeds. For the first time ever in the history of the world my regular chives did not come back. I have no idea why.


My potager (vegetable garden) is cleaned, hoed and ready. I have 150 white onions, 300 red onions and 35 shallots (to yield about 150 shallots) planted around the edges.

We have horrid soil here – I won’t grace it with the term ‘dirt’. It’s clay and rocky. Plus this was a farm in bygone days so who knows what was in this spot a hundred or 2 hundred years ago.


Every year more big rocks and bricks and concrete bits move to the surface. I find them with the hoe, use the pick-ax to get them out and pile them next to the walnut tree.

That way mon mari knows where to find big rocks when he needs them.

I buy bags of dirt to use to cover the seeds I plant because I can’t find enough ‘fine soil’ to use.

Apparently, there are sufficient nutrients for the plants because I always usually have a good harvest.

On the positive side I haven’t found any rusty scissors or ax heads or plow blades this year…..

Last update on April 13, 2016

2 thoughts on “Veal Rolls Stuffed with Caramelized Shallots; state of the gardens”

  1. Lovely recipe Katie and a lovely garden too! Shallots are delicious – so much better than a regular cooking onion in my books. They sure “smart” the eyes tho…but worth it!

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