Veal Escalope From Youghal, With Mushrooms In A Cream Sauce
“Veal is very good now, and there are a hundred ways of serving it. One of the simplest and most exquisite is à la crème….This is the best way of capturing the individual but somewhat elusive flavour of veal. Only a little potato with this, purée for choice, but a squeeze of lemon may be permitted.”
-Ambrose Heath, Good Food on the AGA
Although clearly Italian, I’m counting this recipe as ‘Irish’ because the first time I came across it I was having dinner in the Capri Bay restaurant in Youghal – and also it’s made with Irish veal! Ambrose Heath’s Veal à la crème (described in the quotation above) is served very plain, minus the mushrooms, but I think that is just a little bit too Spartan. With mushrooms (especially the dried porcini) it is simply wonderful.
We (my son and I) were a bit surprised when the waiter suddenly started singing. He turned out to be a student earning a bit of extra money. Happy in his work, he often broke into song in the kitchen, and Gerald Esposito and his father, Rocco were so impressed that they asked him to go out and sing to the customers.
I thought the veal looked easy, and it certainly tasted good, so I wrote to ask Gerald for the recipe and he very kindly sent it to me (I’ve adapted it a little for the ‘amateur’ cook). But this is more or less how they make their scallopina ai funghi (aka veal escalope):
Recipe for Veal Escalope in a Cream Sauce
- 8 pieces of topside Irish (well, OK, whatever veal is local…) veal – about 400g/14 oz in total. Get your butcher to beat them until they are no more than 1 cm thick, if you can’t arrange this do it yourself with a rolling pin
- 500g/1 lb button mushrooms – wiped over and sliced
- 30g/1 oz dried porcini mushrooms infused in a little (about ½ cup/120ml) milk for about half an hour
- 120ml/½ cup milk for the mushrooms, above
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 120 ml/½ cup double cream
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 1 tbsp flour
- good slug (couple of tablespoons?) of olive oil
- 30g/couple of ‘knobs’ of butter and a bit more for the beans
- 350g/¾ lb green beans
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, snipped (or, as Virginia Woolf preferred, parsley)
- Indonesian long pepper and lemon salt
- Season the flour.
- Coat the veal scallopine with the seasoned flour.
- Heat the olive oil in the frying pan, and fry both sides of the scallopine to a nice brown crisp, take out and keep warm.
- In the same frying pan fry the garlic for a couple of minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, fry a bit more.
- Cook the beans in your usual way – either by boiling or in the microwave – add a little butter
- Add the porcini, the infused milk, the cream, the mustard and the butter and cook for a further minute or so.