I am sure that fews of my English speaking friends has heard of Pellegrino Artusi and his “The Art of Eating Well”, but for as Italians is a classic as for the Americans is “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child. Pellegrino Artusi was a wealthy Italian business man, born near Bologna in 1820 and died in Florence in 1911. Believe or not it is the first cookbook written in Italian, using metric measures understandable by all the inhabitants of Italy. Before him, cookbook writers used to express quantities with non metric measures and not to explain step by step the procedures. If you try one of the recipes in Artusi’s book you are certain of attaining the expected, yummy result. He doesn’t only give the recipe but also explain the necessary tips to obtain a professional-like result.
Artusi’s fricassés is a light one, do not make milk or cream like other recipes I sow, instead he uses the binding property of the yolk to add creamy consistency to the sauce adding a slight citrous flavor without overriding the natural taste of the meat.
- 500 gr. of veal breast, cut in to pieces
- 50 gr. butter
- 1 tb. of flour
- a bouquet garni made of slices of onion and carrot; parsley, basil and celery sticks all tied together so that they will not melt in the fricassee.
- 2 egg’s yolks
- juice of half a lemon
Melt half of the butter in a casserole and add 1 tablespoon of flour, mix it with a wooden spoon until the flour take a hazelnut color.
Slowly add some hot water (not boiling), the bouquet garni and season with salt and pepper
When the sauce starts boiling, add the left butter and the meat, cover the casserole and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes until the veal is tender.
Discharge the bouquet garni and beat the yolks with the lemon juice.
Turn off the heat and pour the yolk mixture in the casserole, gently mixing with the spoon until it is very creamy.
Put the fricassee in a hot platter along with toasted bread.