Friday, November 19, 2010

Spezzatino di Vitello alla Marengo

     There are a few different presentations of this classic Italian veal stew.  The common factor is, this recipe is cooked in the style of Marengo Italy.  For hundreds of years, great regional Italian stews have simmered slowly in ovens and on stove tops with mouth watering aromas drawing the attention of people who are hungry for a comfortable meal.  Italian stews (spezzatino) are often overlooked by chefs looking to cook a great Italian entree.  I posted a different regional spezzatino a few days ago in my Food and Recipe Bog.
     This Veal Marengo stew recipe was cooked regularly long before Napoleon Boneparte's chefs laid claim to the recipe during the French occupation of Marengo in the war against the Ottomans.  In war time, food can be scarce for an occupying army.  A few chickens are usually available in a war zone.  Chicken Marengo with crawfish and the classic garnish of that era, a fried egg on a piece of toast, was Napoleon's Spezzatino di Pollo Marengo.  Garnishes have changed drastically since that era.  I have the original Napoleon's Chicken Marengo recipe posted in this blog too.
     Veal Marengo is not garnished with crawfish.  Veal Marengo is not garnished with a fried egg on toast either.  Veal Marengo is usually served plain, with rice or pasta.  Some chefs do garnish veal marengo with triangle shaped buttered toast points around the edge of the stew.  Many chefs garnish this marengo with a poached egg on top.  Poached egg garnishes are also descendant from Arabic influences.  I chose the plain version with no egg today. 
     The flavors in a Marengo veal stew are very bold and pronounced and of course, the veal is very tender from slow simmering.
     Recipe:  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add a splash of olive oil.
     Add 3 sliced garlic cloves.
     Add 2 course chopped shallots. 
     When the garlic starts to turn a golden color and the shallots turn clear, add 2 handfuls of bite size pieces of veal stewing meat. 
     Saute and stir occasionally till the veal pieces start to slightly caramelize. 
     Add a handful of coursely chopped red and green bell pepper. 
     Add a handful of small button mushrooms that are cut in half. 
     When the vegetables become cooked al dente, add a generous splash of dry white wine. 
     Add a splash of light veal stock. 
     Crush about 1 1/2 cups of imported canned whole Italian plum tomatoes that are packed in puree by hand in a mixing bowl. 
     Add the tomatoes to the stew. 
     Add a small handful of pitted ripe black olives.
     Add a tablespoon of capers.
     Add a small handful of pitted green olives. 
     Add a couple of kalamata olives or oil cured pitted olives that have been finely minced.  (The little bit of minced strong flavored olive is added just like a seasoning spice to flavor the stew.) 
     Add a bay leaf.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add a pinch of  thyme.
     Add a pinch of  sage.
     Add a marjoram.
     Add 2 pinches of basil.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano. 
     Stir the stew and reduce the temperature to low heat. 
     Slowly and gently simmer the stew for an hour.  (Do not cover the pot with a lid!) 
     Add a few pinches of finely chopped flat Italian parsley. 
     Slow simmer the stew till it become rich and medium bodied. 
     Remove the bay leaf. 
     Presentation:  Set some hot al dente cooked fettucini pasta that is tossed with a little bit of virgin olive oil on a plate in a thick ring shape with no pasta in the center of the circle. 
     Spoon the Spezzatino di Vitello Marengo in the center of the pasta ring on the plate. 
     Finely grate just a hint of Pecorino Romano cheese over the stew and pasta. 
     Garnish with a flat Italian parsley sprig.
     The flavor of this stew is outstanding!  The flavors of the wine, tomatoes, olives and herbs are so tasty with veal.  The small amount of bell pepper adds a nice flavor is and is considered to be an optional item in a Marengo stew by many chefs.  Mushrooms add to the depth of the stew's flavor and are required in a Marengo stew recipe.  Strong flavored olives are a poor choice for this stew, however the minced wine cured olives that are used like a seasoning add a nice hint of bold olive flavor to the sauce.  The small amount of ewe's milk Romano cheese (Pecorino Romano) adds a hint of nice mild aged cheese flavor.  Garnish with a poached egg if you wish, but that garnish is a remnant of Napoleonic French occupation.  This is one of the world's greatest classic veal stews!  Yum!  Ciao Baby!  ...  Shawna

0 komentar:

Post a Comment