The typical dish for Christmas on every dining table has always been the traditional roast turkey. Stealing the limelight this Christmas, impress your dining guest with guancia di vitello: braised veal cheek flavoured with assorted herbs and spices. The wine tenderizes the luscious meat.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours
For the gremolata:
A small handful fresh parsley, chopped
A small handful fresh sage, chopped
1 lemon, peel only
A small handful fresh rosemary, chopped
For the veal:
900g veal cheek
To taste, salt
To taste, pepper
A dash, Amarone wine
2 cups broth
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup diced carrots
½ cup chopped onions
1. Make gremolata by mixing all the gremolata ingredients together.
2. Heat oil over high heat. Season meat quickly with salt and pepper.
3. Sear meat in the hot oil until well-browned on all sides.
4. Brown vegetables over the pan with the meat and sprinkle with Amarone wine.
4. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
5. Add gremolata mix into dish, cover and cook for 3 hours until cheeks are tender.
6. Taste and adjust with seasoning. Serve immediately.
Originally from Milan, Fabio Cuccheli was introduced to the culinary world at an early age due to a great passion for food. Fabio first honed his culinary skills at Pietro D’Abano Culinary School before moving on to various award-winning restaurants like Californian three-star Michelin restaurant, French Laundry. He was also at Ristorante La Siriola of the Siriola Group in Italy. He currently leads the kitchen team at Zafferano, the restaurant situated atop Singapore's Ocean Financial Centre's 43rd floor. Fabio's culinary philosophy and passion revolves strongly around preserving an ingredient's natural flavours and complimenting them with other fresh and seasonal produce, and this clearly transcends into his cooking.