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Rodeo: Veal Cheeks with Tomatillo Salsa
Chef Cesare Casella of Maremma – New York, NY
Adapted by

Yield: 24 Servings


  • 4 tomatillos
  • 6 jalapenos
  • 1 roasted garlic head
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 bunches cilantro, finely diced
  • 8 onions, finely diced

    Veal Cheeks:
  • 18 quarts water
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 1 pound salt
  • 6 carrots
  • 2 bunches celery
  • 8 onions
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups fennel seed
  • 1 cup red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup black pepper corns
  • 20 pounds veal cheek, cleaned

For Salsa:

Boil the tomatillos and jalapenos for 2 minutes, then puree with the roast garlic. To finish, mix in the remaining ingredients.

For Veal Cheeks:
Combine water, sugar, and salt in an extra-large pot. Place veal cheeks in the water and let brine for 3 days.

Remove from brine and place in a pot with carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and peppercorns. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer approximately 2 hours, or until tender. and water for approximately 2 hours, or until tender. Serve with sautéed escarole, beans, salsa verde, and additional accompaniments including croutons.

Wine Pairing:
Poggio Ciliegio 2002 - This blend of Cabernet Franc, Sangiovesse, and Merlot is as unassuming as the pasta. Simple yet nuancessed like a beautiful worn quilt.

   Published: October 2005