The combination of veal and marsala wine, as in piccata alla marsala, was an Italian restaurant staple in the 1960s and when the tired trattoria repertoire of pollo cacciatore and mediocre spaghetti dishes slid into oblivion, the dish suffered an unworthy decline.
Loin of veal roasted rather than batted out for escalopes has two advantages. The quality of the meat comes to the fore and the roasting process gives a lift to the sauce by providing wonderful cooking juices. It has disadvantages, too, of course. The traditional business of flattening the veal would tenderize the meat and mean that lesser, cheaper, cuts could be used. Also, a lot less meat is needed.
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Meanwhile, on the stovetop, heat a frying pan.
Season the veal with salt and pepper, then brush with olive oil. Sear the meat quickly on all sides and remove from the pan. Add the celery and shallot to the pan and fry until browned.
Transfer the meat and vegetables to a roasting tray and cook in the oven until medium rare, around 20 minutes. Let the cooked veal rest in the tray for 5 minutes, then lift it out for carving.
Deglaze the roasting tray with the marsala and sieve the mixture into a small saucepan. Add the demi-glace and bring to the boil. Whisk in the unsalted butter. Check the seasoning of the sauce: if it is too sweet, add a few drops of lemon juice to bring it into balance. Serve hot with the roast veal.
© 2000 Shaun Hill. All rights reserved.