veal saltimbocca

i’ve not eaten a veal escalope for ages and i don’t think i’ve ever cooked one at home. but the butcher on saturday had some and they looked good. we used to eat veal all the time at home – veal was just a young calf rather than a milk-fed, bled-to-death monstrosity.

i actually toyed with the idea of doing a wiener schnitzel but couldn’t be bothered to go shopping for breadcrumbs, so i decide on saltimbocca instead. i love sage and i love prosciutto and, apart from overcooking the meat, i knew the end result would be great.

i cook some fennel and broccoli in a pan with a bit of olive oil and water – a bit like braising but i am impatient and don’t add anything apart from salt and pepper. normally i’d chuck in a crushed garlic clove or two, or some parsley. Then i bash the veal between two bits of clingfilm (first with a rolling pin, then with my fist - think the fist wins), stick a slice of prosciutto and a sage leaf on one side and secure it with a toothpick – it looks beautiful, the deep velvety green of sage against the purple ham. i then fry it in olive oil for maybe a minute and a half on each side, sage leaf side first. i take it out of the pan and then pour a bit of lemon juice to deglaze. delia’s saltimbocca recipe talks about madeira and i take the bottle out of the cupboard in preparation – but then i look at it and realise i don’t fancy it. too sweet somehow and i want something sharper, almost like a gravy iusually make with chicken.

a bit of green salad – organic, from abel and cole, it tastes amazing, like salads used to taste – dressed in a tiny bit of walnut oil and lemon juice, and that’s it.

i try and eat slowly because of indigestion but end up having second helpings of saltimbocca.


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