Caesar himself would have enjoyed a dish of Vitellina Fricta, though in his day, this would likely have used sliced strips of veal. In ancient Rome, dining was done laying down on one’s side, and eating such a dish required bread to gather the food from the plate to eat. Without forks, Romans would eat primarily with their fingers. Vitellina Fricta is an ancient Roman recipe from the early Empire period.
- 1 3/4 pounds veal (1 kilo)
- 2/3 pounds dried raisins (sultanas) (300 grams)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 Tablespoon vinegar
- 7/8 Cup white or red wine (200 milliliters)
- 7 Tablespoons oil (100 milliliters)
- 7 Tablespoons Defritum* (100 milliliters)
- 7 Tablespoons Liquamen (100 milliliters or 1 teaspoon salt)
- pepper, celery seeds, Liebstoeckl (lovage), cumin, and oregano
- 1 Cup unsweetened grape juice or soured red wine
- Fry veal in olive oil until well done.
- Mix raisins, wine, vinegar, honey, oil, Defritum, Liquamen and spices together in an extra pan, bring it just to a boil to make the sauce.
- Pour over the veal, then leave the meat for 10 minutes in the sauce and cook on low heat.
- Boil the liquid in a steel or non-reactive pot and reduce by half. A reasonable substitute would be sugar-free grape jelly or balsamic vinegar.
We made this with white wine, and replaced the defritum with balsamic vinegar. The results were delicious.