Monday, June 25, 2012

Veal Saltimbocca

It was purely by accident that I cooked another Masterchef Australia recipe lately, but then on the other hand not such a surprise because I'm watching the latest season on TV almost every night and get the magazine monthly. The weather in Sydney, as we head into Winter, has been atrocious the past few weeks so I wanted a meal that was easy to cook but still super delicious and warming. I went through my loose leaf recipes that I keep in a now bulging folder and came across Veal Saltimbocca. I haven't cooked it in months so figured it was a good time to pull it out again. This recipe is actually from Masterchef Australia 2011 and was part of the Masterclass presented by Gary Mehigan (for those that don't know about Masterclass, here in Australia they have a masterclass every Friday evening where th judges show the contestants different skills and flavour combinations in the kitchen). 

The recipe and ingredients are very simple, and if you don't like veal you could substitute with chicken or beef if you prefer. 

What you will need: 
500g Veal Loin or Veal Steaks, sliced into 4 escallops
20 Sage leaves
4 Slices Prosciutto 
Plain Flour, for dusting
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, thinly slices
2 Tbsp Baby Capers, rinsed and drained
40g Unsalted Butter
1 Punnet Cherry tomatoes
¼ Cup White Wine
Baby Spinach
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

A few things to think about before you start purchasing your ingredients, if, like me, you purchased veal steaks which are already sliced and bashed thin, then you may need to cut the steaks in half. I certainly did, so I ended up with more steaks and needed more prosciutto. I think it's safer to use more extra anyway because sometimes the slices can be so thin that you may need more than one wrapped around the veal. 

If you need to bash out your steaks, wrap them in cling wrap and very gently bash out thinner with a meat hammer using the smooth side, to about 8mm thick. 

Put two sage leaves in the middle of each slice of veal and wrap prosciutto around the veal with the sage facing down (you want your prosciutto slices to meet up on the side of your veal where there is no sage.  In the photo below you can see what I mean by my instructions. 

Veal wrapped in Prosciutto with sage 
Lightly coat the veal in flour, you can use a shallow dish for this but I just dusted my surface and the veal with the flour. 

Flour dusted veal
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium to high heat. Depending on how many slices of veal you have, you may need to cook in two batches. If this is the case, then cook the first batch of veal and remove from the pan, using the second batch of veal, follow the instructions below. 

Add the veal to the pan, sage side down (so the join of the prosciutto is facing you). 

Capers, Garlic, Butter, White Wine
Toss in the capers, garlic, sage leaves and butter. 

Capers, Garlic and butter in the pan

When the butter starts to foam around the veal, turn the slices over and add the cherry tomatoes. 

In with the cherry tomatoes
Veal doesn't take long too cook, especially when it's thin, so remove the veal once the cherry tomatoes are in the pan and set aside. You want the outside to be quite a golden colour and crispy, but still a little pink inside. 

Crush some of the tomatoes so their juices flow throughout the sauce. Pour in the white wine and about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Toss in the baby spinach leaves (enough for the meal) and toss around the pan constantly to avoid over cooking. The spinach leaves are done when they start to wilt. 

In with the spinach leaves
Spoon the sauce over the veal, season with pepper if desired and serve with vegetables of your choice. This time I choice carrots and beans boiled in butter. Serves 4. 

Dinner is served

For a look at the meal being made by Gary himself, and for a great tutorial on the recipe, visit  here 

You could also serve this recipe with boiled or mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, asparagus, a host of vegetables that aren't too strong in flavour, you don't want the vegetable outdoing your meat and sauce. 

For more photos and updates visit my Facebook page here