Myrtle, a plant native to the Mediterranean, is cultivated primarily in Europe and is most commonly found in recipes from European cultures. It lends a slight bitterness and a citrus note to dishes and is perfect when paired with bacon or veal, as in this recipe.
What to buy: Myrtle may be found at some gourmet markets and farmers’ markets. Duck may be substituted for veal.
1Place onion, carrot, celery, and half of myrtle sprigs in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Generously season veal leg or shoulder with salt. Immerse veal in the pot and simmer uncovered until tender, about 2 hours.
2As soon as meat is cooked, drain it and, while still hot, place on a bed of myrtle leaves, cover with another layer of leaves, and wrap tightly with foil.
3Cool, then refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove leaves and serve veal thinly sliced, decorated with a few myrtle leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
Beverage pairing:Domaine Mommessin Pommard Perrières, France. Such a simple, fundamental dish is a perfect opportunity to show off a complex wine. Veal and Pinot Noir pair beautifully, and Pinot doesn’t get more complex than in a Burgundy, so this dish makes for a great opportunity to splurge on something complex and delicious. The attractive leafy quality in the wine will hit the high notes from the myrtle.
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