Rubuh' (roast veal stuffed with spiced ground meat and rice)

Time Total time: 3 1/2 to 4 hours
Yields Serves 8 to 10
Rubuh’ (roast veal stuffed with spiced ground meat and rice)

Soak the rice in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees.


In a large bowl, mix together the rice, beef, 1 teaspoon allspice, 2 tablespoons canola oil, the cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, one-fourth teaspoon white pepper, one-half cup onion and all of the pine nuts until thoroughly combined.


Loosely stuff the veal breast with this filling. Place any leftover stuffing onto the center of a large piece of parchment paper; fold the paper to seal in the stuffing and set it aside to tuck into the roasting pan next to the meat.


Combine the remaining 3 teaspoons allspice, 1 teaspoon salt and one-fourth teaspoon white pepper and the garlic. Rub 1 tablespoon oil over the veal breast, season it with one-half teaspoon salt and generously apply the spice all over the veal.


In a large roaster over medium-high heat, saut? the remaining 1 cup onion and the celery in 2 tablespoons oil; stir occasionally until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.


In the same large roaster, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sear the veal over medium-high heat until just lightly browned, 2 minutes per side. Add the onion-celery mixture to the pan under and around the veal along with the envelope of filling and 1 cup water. Cover and braise at 350 degrees, basting occasionally, for 1 hour.


Remove from the oven and add the peas to the roaster. Season with one-eighth teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon white pepper, or to taste.


Open the envelope of extra stuffing, break up the stuffing with a fork and stir the stuffing into the peas. Discard the parchment paper. Add one-half cup water to the roaster, cover and return to the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Roast for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tender. Remove to a large cutting board and allow to rest. Pull out any large bones and thinly slice the roast. Serve with the peas and stuffing alongside.

Adapted from Poopa Dweck’s “Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews.” Veal breast can be advance-ordered from better meat counters. Ask your butcher to make a pocket in the veal breast along the rib bones to accommodate the stuffing.

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