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Sirloin of Veal with a Cream and Green Peppercorn Sauce

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

by Annie Stagg from Charles Campion’s ‘Eat Up' (Kyle Cathie)

The cooking of the veal is very simple and the making of the sauce very arduous – not surprising as the key ingredient is a vegetable and herb stock.

Serves 4


For the stock

1 large onion, chopped

1 leek, sliced

2 celery sticks, sliced

1 fennel bulb, chopped into 1cm cubes

4 large carrots, sliced

1 garlic bulb, sliced horizontally

12 peppercorns, crushed

1 tsp fresh green peppercorns

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 star anise

1 bay leaf

50g fresh mixed garden herbs

1.5L cold water

300ml dry white wine

For the green peppercorn sauce

600ml vegetable stock

200g unsalted butter, chilled and sliced

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp fresh green peppercorns

100ml double cream

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the veal

clarified butter (you could use ghee)

4 pieces English rose veal, each about 10x5cm & at least 4cm thick, lean & tender (ask your butcher for the eye of the sirloin) use fillet or rump if necessary


1. Two days ahead of time, make the stock. Put all the ingredients except the wine into a large saucepan, bring to a simmering point (just below boiling point) & simmer for 10 mins. Remove from the heat & stir in the wine. Cover & leave in a cool place for 48hrs. Strain through a sieve; you should have a 1.2 litres of vegetable stock. You will only use half of this in the sauce; the remainder can be frozen for another occasion.

2. On the day, make the green peppercorn sauce. Reduce the stock in a heavy pan over a high heat. You are aiming to reduce it by four-fifths (80%). When the volume is down to a fifth (20%) of what it was it will be thick & sticky.

3. Reduce the heat and whisk in the cubes of cold butter a little at a time (you can use a hand-held blender to do this if you prefer). As the butter melts it will thicken up the sauce & make it glossy. Add lemon juice and green peppercorns. Keep warm but do not allow to boil.

4. In another large pan bring the cream to the boil, then add the stock & butter mix, whisking as you go – the sauce should never boil again. Season to taste before serving.

5. Finally, prepare the veal. Heat a little clarified butter in a pan & fry the veal, pressing it down & turning regularly to ensure browning. It’s a matter of taste but English veal responds well to being served when juicy. Press down on the meat & it should feel firm & springy when properly cooked, this should take about 10mins. Serve with the green peppercorn sauce & fresh vegetables.

Nigel served his veal with mashed potatoes & green beans. For his veggie version he parboiled & then baked in a 180C/Gas 4 oven cauliflower florets & pumpkin, cut into 2cm square.

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