Tea-Roasted Veal

By Marcus Samuelsson |

A recipe from my 2006 cookbook, Soul of a New Cuisine. If you can’t find rooibos tea at your local market, black tea makes an excellent substitution. My Safari Breakfast from Ambessa works beautifully!



    1/4 cup salt

    2 cups water

    1/2 cup red wine vinegar

    1 rosemary sprig, leaves only, minced

    1/4 cup honey

    1 (3-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

    1/4 cup red tea leaves or the leaves from 3 tea bags

    1/2 vanilla bean

    1 (2-pound) boneless veal shoulder roast

    2 tablespoons Chermoula (recipe below)


    8 garlic cloves

    1/2 cup small parsley sprigs

    1/3 cup small cilantro sprigs

    Grated zest of 2 lemons

    4 teaspoons paprika

    2 teaspoons chili powder

    2 teaspoons ground cumin

    1 cup olive oil


    Photo by stu_spivack

    Combine the salt, water, and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rosemary, honey, ginger, and tea leaves. With a sharp paring knife, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half, and use the back of the knife to scrape the seeds into the pan. Add the vanilla bean. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

    Place the veal in a baking dish. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the tea mixture, and pour the rest over the veal. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight, turning occasionally.

    Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Remove the veal from the tea mixture and pat dry. Smear the roast with the chermoula, and place the veal on a rack in a roasting pan.

    Roast the veal for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting often with the reserved tea marinade, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 130 °F. Tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

    For the chermoula, combine the garlic, parsley, cilantro, lemon zest, paprika, chili powder, and cumin in a blender and blend on low speed to a coarse puree; don't process until smooth. With the blender running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream, and blend until a thick paste forms. Store in a tightly covered contain in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.