Wednesday, December 22, 2010

dreaming of spending the holidays in italy - recipe: veal tenderloin stuffed with leeks, sausage & chevre

Winter in Italy. That simple three-word phrase sounds just divine. I wish I could say that I was about to fly off to Europe for an extended winter holiday but sadly, this is not so.

However, I can at least try to pretend that I’m in Italy through my culinary adventures. Winter in Italy was the name of a cooking class taught by the very talented Pam McDonald several years ago at Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto.

I was an employee at Dish while working my way through chef’s school and I was fortunate enough to work alongside Chef Pam as her assistant in many classes.

One of my favourite classes featured a delectable Italian menu which included a radicchio & chicory salad with sautéed mushrooms & shaved parmesan; scalloped fennel & potatoes, sautéed rapini with pine nuts & raisins, veal tenderloin stuffed with leek, sausage & chevre and pears with sweet mascarpone cheese.

In addition to sharing valuable tips and tricks for the kitchen, Pam suggested a unique entertaining idea involving fresh rosemary: extra sprigs can be tossed into a wood burning fireplace for a delicious, natural, yet oh-so-frugal aroma!

This veal tenderloin would make for a stunning entrée on Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Buon Appetito!

veal tenderloin stuffed with leeks, sausage & chevre
recipe courtesy of Chef Pam McDonald,
owner of “more than food” cooking school in Toronto
(serves 8)


  • 2 (two) tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ (one-and-one-half) lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 (three) leeks (white parts and ? green), quartered lengthwise, well-rinsed, dried and sliced
  • 6 (six) oz. soft mild chevre
  • 1 (one) tbsp fresh thyme, washed and chopped
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3-4 (three to four) lb. veal tenderloin
  • 3 (three) cloves garlic
  • 1 (one) zest of lemon
  • 1 (one) cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (two) tbsp olive oil


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage and sauté, breaking up the meat with a fork, until the meat begins to lose its pink colour. Add the leeks and cook until the leeks are tender and the meat begins to brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in the chevre, breaking it into small pieces. Cook until the chevre melts. Season the stuffing with thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Remove the silverskin and any excess fat from the tenderloin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle and open as you would a book. Place the tenderloin between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound the meat gently until approximately ¾ (three-quarters) to 1 (one) inch in thickness. Place stuffing on one tenderloin and cover with another tenderloin. Secure by tying with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining tenderloin.
  • Mince the parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil. Pat this mixture over the top of the veal. Place on lined pan and roast uncovered for 40 minutes at 450° F.

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