Tag Archives: Vitello Arrosto

PATATE as a contorno (Two recipes for ‘squashed’ potatoes, Patate in tecia).

Last week’s post mentioned patate in teccia, a perfect accompaniment for vitello arrosto (veal roast). In fact in Trieste where this recipe is common, it can be the perfect contorno to accompany many other hot main courses which have a little gravy or juice.

In teccia is triestino (dialect used in Trieste) for cooked in a pan.

Patate schiacciate,  means ‘squashed potatoes’. I was away with friends over the weekend and one of my friends cooked these potatoes (see photo). He was surprised that I too knew them as ‘squashed’ and that they are cooked in various parts of Italy.

Here are two recipes for ‘squashed’ potatoes.

PATATE IN TECCIA (Trieste)

INGREDIENTS

potatoes 600g
onion, 1 large
extra virgin olive oil, 6 tablespoon
salt and pepper to taste

PROCESSES

Place whole, un-peeled potatoes in cold water and boil until cooked. Drain them.
In Trieste the potatoes are peeled and squashed into smaller, uneven sections. I sauté the potatoes un-peeled (and not forgiven).
Sauté and soften the onion till they are a light golden colour.
Add the potatoes and cook on medium heat until they begin to colour (form a crust) on the bottom. Stir them continually so that they can continue to colour (this process will take about 10 minutes).

PATATE SCHIACCIATE

INGREDIENTS

potatoes 600g
extra virgin olive oil, 6 tablespoon
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 200 C
Place whole, un-peeled potatoes in cold water and boil until cooked. Drain them.
Position potatoes in a well-oiled baking pan (not-overlapping) and squash them with the palm of the hand (or a cup).
Dribble with the remaining oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake the potatoes for about 20 minutes till golden (have formed a crust) and serve.
See  recipe for Vitello Arrosto

VITELLO ARROSTO (Roast Veal)

When we first arrived in Australia, we lived in Adelaide and one of the favourite things that my mother cooked when we had guests, was vitello arrosto (roast veal).

It was not vitello as we had been used to in Trieste (veal which was very pale in colour and young), however, we were very fortunate to have a good Hungarian butcher who did his best to supply us with cuts of meat that we were better acquainted with.

When I was a teenager I often had friends who came to stay and I used to tell them that what we were eating was roast veal, they were confused. Firstly because it was not roast lamb (my mother thought the lamb as pecorona – ultra big sheep), but secondly because it was not roast cooked in the oven, so why did we call it roast?

Ovens were not commonly used, baking was not common, but wet roasting was, and if you look at recipes for vitello arrosto you will find that the most common way of cooking it is in a pan with a close fitting lid on top of the stove. The juices do not dry out and the roast will be tender and very flavourful.

This is not a recipe my Sicilian relatives cooked – their arrosto was cooked slowly in the oven, with onions, a little tomato, bay leaves and usually with potatoes. This was also moist and cooked for some of the time partly covered. The photo was taken in Sicily; the cut of meat that my relatives often use for a boneless roast is called a reale.

Ask your butcher for a piece of veal that you can roast.  A girello is suitable, but it is more likely to be yearling beef (most Australian butchers label this piece of meat as such, if not it is also called silverside – but not pickled). A leg of veal is also suitable, but it will be gelatinous and not every one likes this.

The pan often called a Dutch oven, is a good shape to use for vitello arrosto.

INGREDIENTS
roasting veal in one piece of 1.5 – 2 kg
extra virgin olive oil, ½ – ¾ cup
white wine,  up to 2 cups or 1 cup wine, 1 cup stock
onion, 1 cut into quarters
carrots, 3, leave whole
fresh rosemary, sage and whole garlic cloves to stud the meat
salt and pepper to taste
PROCESSES
Make holes in the meat (use a sharp, thin knife) and stud the meat with the flavourings – use separate flavours for each hole.
Heat the oil, brown the meat well on all sides.
Pour in 1 cup of the wine and evaporate.
Add the onion and carrots, a few more sprigs of rosemary and sage, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook over low heat for about 1½ hours, but keep on adding a little more wine (or stock) so that the meat is kept moist and does not stick to the bottom of the pan (add extra water or stock if necessary).

When the meat is cooked, cut the roast into thin slices and serve it with the sauce (I always include the bits of onion and carrots, some cooks use a mouli to passare (grind/ mash) the vegetables into the sauce.

My mother always presented the veal with spinach sauteed in butter and nutmeg and patate in teccia…but these are part of another story.

PATATE as a contorno (Two recipes for ‘squashed’ potatoes, Patate in tecia).