Spezzatino di Vitello alle Olive Verdi

Veal Stew with Green Olives

A Stew may not be your dainty best-silver-and-crystal sort of fare, but I wonder if one with good olive oil, garlic, and some pork fat isn’t the most happy thing that can be done with meat, veal included. Everyone must supply his or her answer, but this is, in any case, what I mean by a good stew, forthright and basic as it can be. Everything in it is fundamental. The onion and pancetta affumicata (bacon) sautéed in olive oil. The garlic sliced thin so it will release sufficient but not obtrusive flavor. The white wine. The only modest flight of fancy are the olives, but they do no damage.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ pound slab bacon, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced into thin disks
  • 1 pound veal shoulder, cut into -inch cubes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 10 green olives in brine, drained, rinsed, pitted, and cut up into rough pieces

Method

  1. Choose a lidded sauté pan large enough to accommodate all the veal with little or no overlapping. Put in the olive oil, onion, and bacon and turn on the heat to medium.
  2. When the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic and the veal. Turn up the heat to medium high and brown the veal pieces well on all sides.
  3. Put in about 2 tablespoons of the wine, add salt and freshly ground pepper, turn the heat down to medium low, and cover the pan.
  4. Stir from time to time and, as the wine evaporates, add more, 2 tablespoons at a time. If, when you have used up all the wine, the meat is still not fully cooked, continue cooking adding 2 tablespoons of water as needed to keep the stew from drying out.
  5. When the meat is fork tender, put in the olives, mix thoroughly, and serve.

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