Veal, Pork, Serrano Ham and Porcini Cannelloni – Random Recipe Challenge

I like to browse other people’s blogs and I particularly like the posts where there has been some sort of link or challenge and lots of bloggers take part. I like to think of them as online coffee mornings. I thought it was about time I got involved and had a go at one; enter Dom from Belleau Kitchen and his challenge called Random Recipes. I love the idea of opening a random cookery book and having to cook whatever is on the page that opens.
rick steins spanish cannelloni

I know I’m guilty of flicking through all my recipe books and thinking how good the recipes sound but knowing full well it’s pretty unlikely I’ll ever give it a try because I’ll either forget or not have the time. This challenge suited me because I was forced not to turn the page to find something quicker, easier or less expensive. I stuck to the rules and ended up opening Rick Stein’s Spain to Canalons de ternera, cerdo, jamón y boletus or Veal, Pork, Serrano Ham and Porcini Cannelloni.

rick steins spain

You will need (for 6-8):
25g dried porcini mushrooms
30g butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
225g minced veal or chicken
225g minced pork
100g Serrano ham, thinly sliced then blended in a food processor
25g plain flour
300ml full fat milk
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
16 lasagne sheets
100g Manchego cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

For the béchamel:
6 cloves
4 bay leaves
1.2 litres full fat milk
80g butter
80g plain flour

Soak the mushrooms in boiling water for 30 minutes then drain and finely chop. Put the onion, cloves and bay leaves into a pan with the milk for the béchamel sauce and bring to the boil, remove from the heat and allow to cool. For the filling fry the onion and garlic in the butter for about 10 minutes then add the porcini, veal (I used chicken) and pork. Fry for a few minutes before adding the Serrano ham. After a few more minutes add the flour, cook for one minute and then add the (300ml) milk. Bring to the boil then simmer for five minutes. Stir in the parsley, nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
Add the lasagne sheets to some boiling water for a few minutes then remove and lay them out so they don’t stick together. Put a little of the filling onto each sheet and then roll up to form the canalons. Put these into a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 200C. To make the béchamel melt the butter over a low heat and then add the flour. Cook for a minute before straining in the infused milk. Simmer the sauce until it is smooth and thick then pour over the canalons and cover it all with the Manchego. Bake for 30 minutes.

rick steins spanish cannelloni

Initially when I looked at the ingredient list it put me off, however, it was well worth it if a little expensive. It was pretty simple to make the only issue I had was not being able to get minced veal; fortunately good old Rick said I could use minced chicken.

It can seem quite involved on the first reading but actually all you do is infuse some milk to then make a béchamel, fry some meats and onion together, stuff the cannelloni and then cover it with the béchamel and grated Manchego. I did think there was a bit too much béchamel sauce so if I made it again I’d probably only do about two thirds. Other than feeling a bit like dinner was swimming in glutinous sauce it was divine.
I can safely say that what may have appeared time consuming and with a long list of ingredients was actually a pleasure to make and was well worth the little extra effort and ingredient sourcing it took to make it.  I really enjoyed Rick Stein’s Spain when it was on the television so it was a treat to make this. I really enjoyed the challenge, bring on the next one!


  1. says

    This looks delicious! I love this challenge I’m going to have to instate in my house a couple of times a month I have so many cook books that I only look at!

  2. says

    absolutely beautiful… I love a big carb fix every now and then so this would be ideal… SO excited that you’ve played along, it is lovely to have you on board… a great random recipe choice, so glad you liked it!

  3. says

    this sounds comforting to me, that bechamel sauce and the cheese topping must have made this dish very delicious! Making something on the page that opens is indeed very challenging..!

  4. says

    There’s plenty going on in the dish but all came together for a wonderful outcome. Never tried before but why not to new recipes. After all that’s why I like to exchange comments with bloggers. And at the same time, learn new recipes.

  5. says

    What a cool challenge idea! I would have skipped this after seeing expensive mushrooms and VEAL, but I’m glad you made it through. Looks tasty!

  6. says

    This looks to be the best cannelloni I hope to try soon. Speaking of trying – I do hope you try deboning and the ballotine. The most rewarding skill I’ve ever had 🙂

  7. says

    I am a huge fan of dried porcini mushrooms +cannelloni…well this is my type of dish!!! I’ve never thought of using lasagna sheets for making cannelloni…much less work than filling the prepared ones

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