How to Make Polish Stuffed-Breast Veal Pocket

Updated on May 20, 2017

Stuffed Veal Pocket Done to Perfection

Photo by annemaeve on HubPages
Photo by annemaeve on HubPages

Stuffed veal pocket, which is the breast of veal stuffed with savory ground beef, is one of our Polish family’s favorite meat dishes. It is easy to prepare, smells fantastic roasting in the oven, makes a beautiful presentation on a plate, and perhaps most important for us, reminds us of our roots.

In 1930, my mother’s mother brought this recipe with her from Poland where she had learned to make it from her mother, who had learned it from her mother. We don't know how far back in our family this sensational stuffed veal roast goes. Whenever a stuffed veal pocket appears on our dinner tables, it not only gets the taste buds going, it also brings us together as we share memories of our family's history, from the recent to the long ago.

A Fragrant Ground Beef Stuffing

Assuredly, there have been modifications along the way, but the essence of the original remains in its use of ground meat flavored with onions and garlic for the stuffing. Our version is much like a meatloaf baked inside a veal roast. The seasonings are simple, allowing the characteristic aromas and flavors of the meats to dominate.

This dish is not for you if you are concerned about fat intake and caloric content. Apropos to the expression WriteAngled shared in one of her articles, this is a meal where you must “Jedzcie, pijcie i popuszczajcie pasa!” [ Eat, drink and loosen your belt].

Bone-in Veal Pocket

Veal breast showing ribs and pocket.
Veal breast showing ribs and pocket. | Source

Shop around for the Veal

When we were growing up, a bone-in veal pocket was an inexpensive cut of meat.  This is no longer so.  Shop around a bit for the veal breast.  We’ve seen the bone-in veal pocket priced anywhere from 2 to 6 USD per pound.  Although some butchers and supermarkets make this cut available in their public display cases, many don’t.  If you don’t see it, ask for it.  Chances are it is available, and the butcher will be happy to cut it to your specifications.

Equipment

  • Shallow roasting pan with rack (choose a pan that is only slightly larger than the veal pocket)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Thin, sharp skewers (optional)

Ingredients

  • One 5-pound veal breast pocket, bone-in (2.27 kilograms)
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef (.7 kilograms)
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup finely grated dry bread crumbs...we use Italian flavored bread crumbs (177 milliliters)
  • 1 Medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 Cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 Cup fresh parsley, finely minced (79 milliliters)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried, crushed basil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried, crushed tarragon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried, crushed marjoram
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt and additional freshly ground black pepper

A Word about Salt

Our family rarely uses salt in cooking.  Instead, we try to enhance the natural flavors of foods using herbs, spices and the freshest ingredients, and sometimes products which already contain salt such as canned chicken stock.  In general, we leave the salt shaker on the table for those who care to indulge.  We make an exception here with the outside of the veal; the dusting of salt seems to draw out the fat a bit more, lending a nice crisp to the skin.

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Rinse the veal pocket inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Trim off excess fat.
  4. Place the veal on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, rib-side down.
  5. In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients except the "salt and additional freshly ground black pepper". We use our well-washed hands for this task. You could use latex gloves if the idea of bare-hand mixing does not appeal to you.
  6. Fill the veal pocket with the meat mixture, packing the filling tightly.
  7. Optional Use the skewers to construct a kind of grate over the opening to keep the filling from falling out while cooking. Pierce the top part of the pocket near the opening with a skewer, push the skewer through, and anchor the tip into the bottom flesh (see photo). You may not need to contain the filling this way, depending on the volume of the pocket.
  8. Dust the top and sides of the stuffed pocket with the "salt and additional freshly ground black pepper".
  9. Place the pan into the oven and bake uncovered for 2 to 2 ½ hours. The stuffed veal pocket is done when the stuffing is cooked through (just as a meatloaf would be) but not overcooked, and the veal has a bit of crispy skin on the outside.
  10. Remove the roasted veal pocket from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove the optional skewers. Slice each serving from top to bottom between the ribs and place on a warmed plate.

Serves 8.

Presenting the Veal Pocket in Polish Style

For the warmed plate you use for serving, consider one of the traditionally designed Boleslawiec ceramics from Poland. These beautiful, high quality baking and serving dishes are inspired by Polish folk art designs and hand painted in Poland. They are safe for the oven, freezer, and microwave. Although I don't suggest roasting the veal pocket in a Boleslawiec baking dish, because the long roasting time will make for a long clean-up effort inside and out, I do recommend serving the finished veal pocket in one of these beautifully designed and practical pieces.

Leftovers

If there is stuffed veal left over, slice it into servings and refrigerate. The leftovers are delicious hot or cold. One of our favorite treats is a sandwich of the cold meats made with pumpernickel bread spread with mayonnaise and a dab of horseradish, served with garlic or dill pickles.

Recipes appearing in Sally’s Trove articles are original, having been created and tested in our family kitchens, unless otherwise noted.

Questions & Answers

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      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        this would be great for christmas dinner

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Elvira, what a great comment! This meal was always a cheap meal, many years ago. I didn't know that Italian families loved it as Polish families do. There's much to be said about this cut of meat...so glad it crosses cultures. There's a lot to be said about this.

      • profile image

        Elvira Armour 

        5 years ago

        My Italian mother always cooked this stuffed veal pocket as a Sunday night snack. To be sure it was cheaper sixty years ago,I tried and tried to find a recipe Like hers and you have it. It is now in the oven I can't wait.

      • Harvey Stelman profile image

        Harvey Stelman 

        8 years ago from Illinois

        Sally,

        So much for the bib, I had to wring it out. I hope your happy; I am.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        HaHa Harvey! My intent was not to torture. Maybe you need a bib? Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment that made me smile.

      • Harvey Stelman profile image

        Harvey Stelman 

        8 years ago from Illinois

        Sally,

        Please stop writing about your food. I am salivating, and I don't want a wet shirt. It's inbetween breakfast and lunch, but thanks to you I can't wait for dinner.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        RGraf, this one doesn't have any hot peppers! Please try it. It's a total pig-out dish.

      • RGraf profile image

        Rebecca Graf 

        8 years ago from Wisconsin

        This looks wonderful! I'll have to see about doing this soon.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Thanks for the comment, Tony. It is an interesting recipe, and as you can imagine there are as many stuffing varieties as there are cultures who eat veal...everything from fruits to vegetables to nuts to grains and breads. Enjoy!

      • tonymac04 profile image

        Tony McGregor 

        8 years ago from South Africa

        Bookmarked for future reference! Thanks for sharing such an interesting recipe.

        Love and peace

        Tony

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        And so nice to see you here, robie2. It's been a while for both of us. Now I see you've written a Hub on upcycled art. Off to see it now. Thanks so much for the good words...your drooling is making me hungry!

      • robie2 profile image

        Roberta Kyle 

        8 years ago from Central New Jersey

        Oh yum-- that was a satisfying and wonderful read. A wonderful recipe coupled with a wonderful personal peek into your life as usual-- I loved it and I'm drooling over veal roast and garlic potatoes and red cabbage. I can practically taste it and that's enough for me.

        Good to read your wonderful hubs again

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        LOL, 2pats...you are thinking I might write something about lamb, while I am thinking I need to talk to a butcher to see if it's possible to make that pocket cut out of a lamb brisket!

        You have given me an idea which I am recording in my Hubs-to-be-written journal...I've dabbled in leg of lamb a few times, sometimes with success and sometimes not. The "sometimes not" is the funny stuff.

        Thanks so much for the encouraging poke.

      • 2patricias profile image

        2patricias 

        8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

        This sounds delicious! Veal is very hard to come by here in England, but it sounds like it is worth looking for. We live in a 'sheep' area - wonderful local lamb - that is a hint that we are hoping you will do a hub on lamb cooking.

        Always enjoy your hubs, thanks.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Chris, veal is to die for...at least the calf does, anyway.

        It's lost some favor, as those who are concerned with animal rights and meatless eating have brought knowledge of veal production into large-scale social consciousness, and as the price of quality veal has skyrocketed.

        Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm always so happy to hear from you.

      • Christoph Reilly profile image

        Christoph Reilly 

        8 years ago from St. Louis

        Yum! I just cooked a roast tonight, but alas, it was a mere lowly pork roast - but delicious. I have only had veal once many years ago, and it was an Italian dish, you know, flattened with some sauce I can't remember. I'm sure nothing comparative to this delicious beast! This is definitely going on my "must try" list!

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Jaspal, you had good success with the Shepherd's Pie, and I know you and the boys will love this one.

        Apparently the Punjabis loosen their belts like the Poles, too, so you should be very comfortable here. No one will complain about your lack of refinement. ;p

      • Jaspal profile image

        Jaspal 

        8 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Count me in on that flight from India! There's no way I'm getting left behind! But be warned: While the Feline hails from a more refined and cultured background, the Punjabis actually tend to loosen their belts and gorge like your Texans, especially when gourmet delights like stuffed breast of veal are being laid out. :)

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Peg, you have exactly the right idea(s)...this is great party fare, especially if you can get someone else to cook it for you. You lucky girl!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        8 years ago from Houston, Texas

        This sounds absolutely delicious and would be wonderful dinner party fare. Going to pass this on to my hubby who loves to cook for our parties. Thanks!!!

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Happy to read your comment, swift1805. As you have vowed to eat less red meat, make sure you cook this veal pocket for a party where most of it will be finished in one night. Otherwise, you will not have even a prayer of keeping your vow!

      • profile image

        swift1805 

        8 years ago

        I read this just as I vowed to eat less red meat! Nevertheless, it sounds great and I hope to try it soon.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Feline and Sabu, my dear friends from India. It would delight me to no end that you would come to visit. I know that both of you are great organizers and motivators, so if anyone can get a hired jet together to make the trip, it would be the two of you. I'll work on the accommodations here for the guests. Thank you both so much for your comments.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        FlyingPanther, thank you so much for your supportive words. I don't know why I didn't think of it while you were here...you are a meat lover like me. Next time, my friend.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        annemaeve, I can hear your happy food noises right now...guess I'll hear more of them when you come over for that Shepherd's pie I'm making today. L U 2.

      • FlyingPanther profile image

        FlyingPanther 

        8 years ago from here today gone tomorrow!!

        Sally my dear friend,Great job again,I wonder why we never made that wonderful food while i was visiting you?Maybe next time i visit we should!? Keep up the good work!.

        FlyingPanther

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Om Paramapoonya, your poor bf! You know how some foods are referred to as cardiac arrest on a plate? Well, this veal dish could be called terminal acid reflux on a plate. Just how much to you care for this bf????? LOL

        Thanks for stopping by and commenting. So nice to see you!

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Trish, so noted, this dish is on our list to make together. And won't your granddaughter love to make the stuffing? If I recall, she has her own certain "hand" magic with ground meat? Actually, that's a good tip for having young helpers in the kitchen...kids love that kind of messy stuff.

      • sabu singh profile image

        sabu singh 

        8 years ago

        That makes two of us from India, ST - FP and me. Add a few more and perhaps we could hire a jet to fly us across to taste your cooking.

        Great Hub. I especially like the attention to detail, quote " Rinse the veal packet inside and out and pat dry with paper towels".

        I have no option but to pass this on to my wife, with your permission ofcourse.

      • annemaeve profile image

        annemaeve 

        8 years ago from Philly Burbs

        Om nom nom nom I'm having flashbacks to those leftover sandwiches... SO GOOD!

        Love you, love your hubs.

      • profile image

        Feline Prophet 

        8 years ago

        Just the kind of hub that appeals to me...delectable sounding food! Plus, I discovered your Polish roots! When can I come and taste this ST? :)

      • Om Paramapoonya profile image

        Om Paramapoonya 

        8 years ago

        Wow I'll have to try this recipe some day. It sounds like something my bf might really like. He might get acid reflux after eating so much meat (as usual)... but still, it's probably worth it!

      • trish1048 profile image

        trish1048 

        8 years ago

        Well done. I cannot believe in all the years we've been friends that I've never had the pleasure of having this when I visited. I think this will have to get added to our next project :)

        It sounds absolutely delicious. Since my daughter just made her first ever veal roast two weeks ago, I will definitely share this with her. It seems to be an easy dish to make, and anything with stuffing is always welcome in our house.

      • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherri 

        8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        Hello, Hello, hello...

        Thank you so much for stopping by. Please let us know the results when you try this recipe.

        You are so welcome.

      • Hello, hello, profile image

        Hello, hello, 

        8 years ago from London, UK

        That sounds great and I must try it out. Thank you

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