Veal Marsala

veal marsala plated *

Veal Marsala was one of the first fancy veal dishes that I added to my repertoire of “company worthy meals” as a young, home cook. It scared me at first, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the Marsala wine that seemed exotic to me at the time. Now, I consider this a very easy meal to prepare any night of the week. It takes so little time to make, and one skillet is all that you need. One, two three…and you have a delicious (and somewhat fancy) meal.

I’ve made one change to this recipe over the years. I had always dredged the veal in seasoned flour before browning it. It was my belief that this gave the sauce a thicker consistency. But not too long ago, my friend Giada taught me that the flour was not necessary. Okay, she’s not really my friend, but I saw her make this on the food network, without the flour. I trust her, so I gave it a try, and was actually happier with the taste of the sauce. It’s a bit more delicate, which I like. I think you will too.

This can also be made with chicken cutlets, if you’re not into veal. Just make sure you tenderize the chicken with a meat mallet. The veal shouldn’t need that.

Let me know how you like this without the flour, and I’ll let Giada know the next time we have lunch. Oops there I go again , pretending she’s my friend.   But wouldn’t she be a great friend to have?   Just think of all the recipes she’d share. All kidding aside, the connection between food and friends is one that I cherish, so I tend to consider some of my favorite TV chef personalities as friends. Sharing recipes creates a familiarity among us and fosters the intimacy that is “friendship.” At least this is how it is for me. I watched my mom and her friends bond over recipe sharing, and I have definitely inherited that gene. So my friends, enjoy this recipe for Veal Marsala!

RECIPE: serves 4

8 veal cutlets (about 3 ounces each)

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 to 3 TBPS unsalted butter

2 to 4 TBSP olive oil

1 large shallot, chopped finely

2 to 4 garlic cloves, smashed

8 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine

3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth

4 rosemary sprigs

  1. Sprinkle the veal with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 1 TBSP butter and 1 TBSp oil in a heavy, large skillet.  Add 4 veal cutlets and cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side, depending upon the thickness of the cutlets.  Transfer the cutlets to a plate.
  3. If necessary, add another TBSP of butter and oil.  Repeat with the other 4 cutlets.  Set the cutlets aside.
  4. Add 1 TBSP of oil to the skillet.  Add the shallots and garlic.  Saute until fragrant, about a minute or two.  Add more olive oil, if necessary.
  5. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt.
  6. Add the Marsala and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the broth, and the leaves of two rosemary sprigs (no need to chop them). Simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
  8. Return the veal to the skillet, along with all the veal’s juices.
  9. Cook just until heated through, turning to coat, about 2 minutes.  Stir the remaining TBSp of butter into the sauce.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Transfer the veal to plates or platter.  Spoon the sauce over the veal.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

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