This dish; Veal Marsala, gets its name courtesy of the use of the Marsala wine used in its preparation, cooking and accompanying sauce. With Marsala wine playing such an important role in this and other Marsala-based dishes it is important to have a little background on this wine.
Marsala Wine Backgrounder
Marsala wine is a sweet or dry fortified wine of a deep shade of amber to dark red color with a very complex aroma that is produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in on the island of Sicily. Being fortified Marsala wine has rather high alcohol content somewhere in the range of 16% to 20%. It has long been very popular in Italian as well as French cooking.
There are a number of varieties of Marsala wines which are classified in accordance with their age. This ranges from Fine; which is aged for less than one year, to varieties like Vergine e/o Soleras Stravecchio e Vergine e/o Soleras Riserva that are aged for at least 10 years.
Currently Marsala wine enjoys great popularity in Italian restaurants throughout the United States where it is widely used in this dish (Veal Marsala) as well as its lamb-based and chicken-based counterparts. Chicken Marsala sees flour-coated pounded chicken breast halves being braised in a mixture of Marsala, butter, olive oil, mushrooms, and spices.
Typically; preparation of a Marsala sauce will involve reducing the wine with onions and shallots almost to a syrupy state, before adding mushrooms, pepper, Italian seasoning and various herbs. Other recipes that use Marsala wine include risottos, Veal Scaloppini, Lamb Marsala, Chicken Marsala and various rich Italian deserts.
Veal Marsala Recipe
This particular recipe was told to me by the elderly Sicilian lady who lives next door to my dad’s place. You will notice that it is surprisingly simple to prepare and cook which always goes down well at my place.
- 8 Veal Medallions
- 4 Ounces of Mushrooms
- 2 Green Bell Peppers
- ½ Cup of Marsala Wine
- ¼ Cup each of Olive Oil or Melted Margarine and Onion
- 1 Tablespoon of Flour
- ½ Teaspoon each of Celery Salt and Italian Seasoning
- ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Assorted Vegetables
- Slice the veal medallions into thin strips and lightly dust with flour
- Wash, drain and slice the mushrooms. I prefer field mushrooms but most other varieties will do fine including the canned variety. Just make sure you rinse and drain the canned variety thoroughly.
- Chop the onion
- Slice the bell peppers into thin strips
- Sauté the veal in the olive oil or melted margarine
- Add seasoning
- Add vegetables
- Cook over low heat until tender
- Add wine and simmer 3 to 4 minutes