Veal Chop Valdostana
This is a classic veal dish from Northern Italy–which is where the “Val d’Aosta” of the name is located. It’s a distinctly Italian version of a dish that’s also found else where in Europe, although the Val d’Aosta folks claim it’s original to them. What we have here is a veal chop stuffed with ham and cheese–specifically prosciutto and Fontina. This dish is universal in the Italian restaurants of New York, but you see it only in the most advanced Italian restaurants here. It is a signature dish at Andrea’s. This recipe comes from the cookbook he and I collaborated upon in the late 1980s, when the at the restaurant was at its peak. Chef Andrea Apuzzo is currently celebrating his place’s thirty-third anniversary.
- 4 oz. Fontina cheese
- 4 large, thin slices prosciutto
- 4 baby white veal chops, 12 oz. each including bone
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 6 oz. butter
- 1 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1 Tbs. chopped onions
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 8 oz. exotic mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, or portobello, to name a few examples), sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 cup whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
1. Cut the Fontina cheese into four thick, narrow, long slices. Wrap the prosciutto around the cheese. Cut a slit in the side of each veal chop. Insert the prosciutto-wrapped cheese into the slits deep enough so it can’t come out.
2. Mix the salt and white pepper into the flour, and sprinkle this on the veal chops. (Don’t dredge.) Pass each veal chop through the beaten egg to to get it good and wet. Then dredge through bread crumbs to coat thoroughly.
3. Heat the olive oil very hot in a large skillet. Brown the chops, two at a time, to a medium-dark, crusty brown on both sides. Remove the chops and repeat with the second two.
4. Put all four chops onto a roasting pan and into the oven at 450 degrees. Roast the chops for 12-15 minutes, until top is brown and crusty and the cheese is oozing out the sides a little.
5. After cooking all chops, pour the excess oil from the skillet, leaving only a film. Return to medium heat and add the butter, onions, and garlic, and cook until the onions are clear.
6 Add the white wine and bring to a boil, whisking the bottom of the pan to dissolve the pan juices. Reduce the wine by about half, then add the mushrooms and cook until they’re soft.
7. Whisk in the whipping cream and bring to a light boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for two or three more minutes to a light sauce consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Nap the veal chops with the sauce and lots of the mushrooms.