Unlike Raclette and any form of Fondue, Geschnetzeltes is a Swiss specialty that requires no diner participation in the preparing. Geschnetzeltes is so widely appreciated in Switzerland, that a Swiss butcher often will have ribbons of meat precut especially with this dish in mind.
Geschnetzeltes means ‘chopped up’. While veal is traditionally the ‘chopped up’ meat, a perfectly acceptable alternative by Swiss standards is pork filet or tenderloin. Either cut of pork will make excellent Geschnetzeltes, if true veal (white-ish pink in colour from the filet or center-cut from the leg) is not to be had. The red slices of young cow laid out on styrofoam platters under cellophane and sold as veal are only the idea of veal. They won’t transform successfully into Geschnetzeltes.
Cooks play with the basic elements of Geschnetzeltes the way musicians play variations on a tune. Some, for example, include mushrooms–others not. The diplomatickitchen uses the mushroom with the honeycombed cap…the morel. With some other variety of mushroom, or none at all–the end result will still be the genuine Swiss article.
Veal in a White Wine and Cream Sauce with Morels ~ Geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch (for 4 people, and easily 1 and 1/2’d or doubled)
Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF.
- 2 pounds of veal filet or thin-slices of veal cutlet from the center of the leg: or substitute the same amount of pork filet or tenderloin, sliced thinly: the photographed meat is veal filet
- 6 Tablespoons of butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups of dry white wine
- 1 cup of heavy cream, and a little more to add at the end at your disgression: Check the date on the cream’s carton for freshness; cream that is not fresh will separate when it is reduced in a sauce.
- 1/3 cup of morels: The pictured morels are bottled ones. Dried morels are often available and, once reconstituted, may be used like fresh or bottled ones. One method of reconstituting them is to place them in a saucepan, cover them with water, bring them to a boil and simmer them for 30 minutes. Drain them and use them in the recipe as you would the fresh ones.
- 1 Tablespoon of parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of Demi-glace: See the diplomatickitchen’s discussion of Demi-glace and suggestions for preparing it quickly in the post on Sonoran Pork Roast with Chili Pasilla and Fresh Orange Sauce.
- freshly ground Black Pepper and Salt
- a wide, heavy-bottomed pan or a large casserole
1. To prepare the meat: Whether you use veal or pork, filet, tenderloin, or cutlets–and if the butcher as not already cut the meat for you– placing the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes or so will make it easier to sliceit thinly. If you are on good terms with an excellebnt butcher, ask him to do the slicing and ribbon-ing for you. Otherwise, after firming the meat up in the freezer, remove the the white strip of connective tissue (the silver skin) that runs down the length of the filet. Cut the filet into thin slices and cut the slices into narrow ribbons…
…If you are using thin slices of veal cutlet or pork tenderloin, pound the slices about 1/4-inch thick and cut them into thin strips.
2. Slice the morels in strips.
3. Heat the butter slowly until it foams and add the strips of meat. Cook them over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until all the butter is absorbed. The butter will puddle and sizzle; the meat will change colour as it slowly cooks, but shouldn’t crisp as it does when fried.
4. Add the wine and repeat the slow cooking over medium low heat until the wine is absorbed.
5. Add the cream…
… and bring it to a simmer. Cook the Geschnetzeltes gently until the cream reduces and starts to thicken and look like a sauce. Add the demi-glace, parsley and morels…and several grinds of black pepper and salt:
6. Stir everything together over low heat, only until the sauce, morels and meat are well combined…
…Taste, and add a little more cream, salt and pepper if you like:
A Note: If the Geschnetzeltes is made in advance, reheat it very gently without letting it boil.
A Second Note: Veal in White Wine and Cream Sauce with Morels ~ Geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch is the Main Course of the Dinner Menu: An Evening with the Classics.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012