This recipe made me realise, and not for the first time, how lucky we are nowadays to enjoy the fruits of kitchen technology: running water out of a tap, a cooker, a fridge, electrical gadgets and, not to be undermined, the dishwasher. The origins of this recipe go far far back when people didn’t have an oven at home and would thus have to rely on the village baker’s oven to do some of their roasting or even, if they had access to one, a kiln for pottery or tile-making. The famous stew from Impruneta in Tuscany called ‘peposo’ is just one example of kilns being useful for cooking!
As cuts of meat go, this veal is a sort of leftover from the chest of the animal (the dictionary says that ‘punta di petto’ translates as brisket) and fraught through with bits of bone and cartilage and thus had less commercial value. The butchers were not stupid, however, and would reserve this dainty morsel for their own delectation and evidently made use of the local baker (fornaio) to do the roasting for them. End of pseudo-history lesson.
In the baking dish … some garlic and a few peppercorns.
The strips of this veal brisket were too long to fit in the baking dish so I cut some of them up with a pair of scissors.