One of my favorite meals for as long as I can remember has been Veal Marsala. There is something about nice tender veal with sauteed mushrooms in a good Marsala sauce that does it for me. For years now, I have been experimenting and learning to perfect this dish. The other night I made it for the first time in months and, as always, was a noteworthy dinner.
Marsala itself is a fortified wine that is similar to port, madeira and sherry. It comes from the Marsala region of Italy. For cooking, I recommend using an inexpensive variety since you will be cooking it down and not drinking it. I use Cribari, which can be found in most liquor stores.
Ingredients: (Serves 2)
1 pound of veal, pounded thin
1 shallot, chopped
1 package of baby bella or shiitake mushrooms, a variety is great
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup flour or so
Begin by rinsing and trimming your veal. Dry it off and pound thin, but be careful not to over pound it. Then take your flour, salt and pepper and mix them up on a sheet of wax paper. Dredge the veal in the flour mixture and set aside. In a large saute pan, put half of the olive oil and butter in over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot and the butter melted, add your veal and cook until it just turns brown on each side. This will happen very quickly so be sure not to overcook the veal or it will become tough. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside.
To make the Marsala sauce, begin by adding the remainder of the butter and olive oil to the pan. Add the shallots and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and let cook for a minute or two. Over medium-high heat, add the chicken broth and the Marsala wine. Bring the liquid up to light boil and then turn down to a simmer. Let it simmer on medium heat until the sauce is reduced by a third or so and the flavors have blended. Once this occurs after a few minutes, add a tablespoon of the seasoned flour and mix into the sauce to help thicken a little bit. Add back the veal and coat it with the sauce and mushrooms. Let the veal heat up to serving temperature and then remove from the heat. Now you are ready to serve and enjoy!
Wine pairing suggestion: A nice cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir goes well with this dish. We chose Primitivo – a “red zin”-like wine. Really any lighter red wine with a bit of fruit will go nicely with this veal.