Crumbed veal steaks with olive & pistachio pesto

Crumbing the veal after marinating it gives the meat a nice texture in this dish, but you could do it scallopini-style by coating the chops lightly in flour instead of breadcrumbs. The pesto is also really cracking on either grilled tuna or roast salmon.


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 veal chops
  • ⅔ cup coarse breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup dry white wine

  • For the pesto
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp brined green peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ bunch basil leaves
  • ¼ bunch parsley leaves
  • ¼ bunch sage leaves
  • ½ cup unsalted pistachios, toasted
  • ¼ cup pitted green olives
  • 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper


For the marinate, pound garlic, oregano, lemon zest and 1/2 tsp salt to form a thick paste. Rub paste on the chops and marinate at room temperature for an hour.

For the pesto, pound the garlic, peppercorns and salt into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add herbs and continue to pound until they break down and a thick paste is formed. Add half the pistachios and work them in until the paste has a creamy texture. Roughly chop the remaining pistachios and the green olives and add to the paste with the parmesan, lemon zest and oil, stirring to combine. Season with more salt if required and add a grind of black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Combine breadcrumbs, pecorino, sesame seeds, remaining salt and some pepper. Press this mixture thickly onto the sides of the chops.

Heat oil in a frying fan over a medium heat. Add the chops and cook for 2-3 minutes without moving them to create a nice brown crust. Repeat on other side. Carefully transfer onto a baking tray and place in oven to roast for 5-6 minutes. Remove and rest somewhere warm for 5-10 minutes.

Return the frying pan to a low heat, add the wine and scrape off the browned bits. Allow to reduce for a few minutes.

Plate the veal and spoon the sauce over the chops, then serve immediately with the pesto on the side.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Friulano is a versatile grape and the 2013 Bastianich Vigne Orsone Friulano, from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy, offers vivid acidity and great texture as well as orange zest, herb and ginger spice flavours.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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