OK, so, veal. Veal tastes good, it’s easy to cook and – while I wouldn’t kill a baby cow every day – it makes for a nice change from the usual. It’s an extremely versatile ingredient with a subtle flavor profile; good sautéed, fried, stewed, braised or made into a stock.
Veal Marsala (at least this recipe, which I have whittled down into a very simple process) is hard to screw up. Cutlets of veal usually come very thin and are a snap to sauté in the pan. Cooking this dish comes down to basically making the sauce – a pan sauce made with sweet imported Marsala wine, mushrooms and butter. A dash of veal demi, if you have it, deepens the flavor and marries the sauce to the meat. Use fresh product and don’t over-think it. You don’t need to do much to make good food taste good.
Chicken breasts, pounded thin, are also fantastic with this sauce.
Classic Veal Marsala
Veal with a wine, mushroom, and butter sauce. Thin pounded chicken breasts also work just great, just cook them a bit longer.
- 4-6 veal cutlets, pounded thin
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 TB vegetable oil
- 12-16 ounces mushrooms, sliced or quartered
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TB tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups sweet Marsala (imported)
- 1 ½ TB lemon juice
- 2 TB veal demi glace (optional, but better if you have it)
- 5 TB unsalted butter cut into 5 pieces
- 2 TB minced fresh parsley leaves
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a large heatproof dinner plate on the rack, and heat the oven to 200° F.
- Pat the cutlets dry. Place the flour in a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Season both sides of the cutlets with salt and pepper. Working with one cutlet at a time, coat both sides with flour. Shake to remove excess flour; set aside.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place the floured cutlets in a single layer in the pan and sauté until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the cutlets and cook on the second side until the meat feels firm when pressed and juices run clear, about 1-2 minutes longer. Transfer the veal to the heated platter and return the plate to the oven.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms. Sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom, until the liquid released by the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute. Off the heat, add the Marsala to the pan. Return the pan to high heat and simmer, scraping the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced to about 1 ¼ cups, about 5 minutes. Add the demi glace (if using) and stir.
- Off the heat, add the lemon juice and any accumulated juices from the meat. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the veal and serve immediately.
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