Beautiful, Psychedelic Spin-Painted Veal, not Flame Grilled

A recipe by Massimo Bottura, taken from Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Ingredients for the intense chlorophyll

50 g parsley
10 g abrotano (Artemisia abrotanum)
10 g rue
10 g mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)


Heat a pan of water to 75°C (167°F), add the parsley and leave it to infuse for 1 minute.

Repeat the operation with the other herbs. Drain and cool them quickly in iced water.

Blend all the herbs together in a thermal mixer with 250 g water. Pour the mixture into a plastic container and let sit for 8 hours in the fridge.

The mixture will split into two parts, chlorophyll and water. Strain the mixture through muslin (cheesecloth) and reserve the chlorophyll.

Ingredients for the traditional balsamic vinegar demi-glace

100 g beef demi-glace
40 g extra-aged traditional balsamic vinegar


Bring the demi-glace to a boil in a small pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar gently. Keep it warm over very low heat. Balsamic vinegar should never be overheated or boil, otherwise it will lose its flavour.

Ingredients for the vegetable ash

100 g carrot peelings
100 g celery
100 g parsley
50 g thyme
50 g sage
50 g rosemary
50 g basil


Put the vegetables and herbs on an oven tray and bake at 220°C (430°F) until they have blackened (approximately 40 minutes).

Blend the burned herbs in a thermal mixer at maximum speed.

Pass the powder through a fine sieve and store in an airtight container.

Ingredients for the sour cherry sauce

500 g sour cherries, washed, dried and pitted sugar and sea salt, to taste


Place the cherries in a blender and blend to a pulp, adjusting the acidity with a pinch of sugar and salt. Strain.

Place the liquid in a rotary evaporator and concentrate at 25°C (77°F) for 2 hours, or until it has reduced by 50%.

Ingredients for the creamed potatoes

100 g Montese potatoes
80 g whole milk
25 g butter
25 g Villa Manodori extra-virgin olive oil
5 g sea salt


Cook the potatoes in a steamer for 40 minutes.

Peel the potatoes and mash by hand with a potato masher. Warm the milk in a copper pan, then add the potato. Mix very well.

Put them in a thermal mixer at 80°C (176°F) at setting 7 and start incorporating the butter. Increase the setting to 10 and slowly pour in the olive oil to obtain a very soft consistency.

Season with salt.

Ingredients for the ash-covered beef fillet

150 g whole milk
500 g Chianina beef fillet, centre cut
150 g reserved vegetable ash
70 g charcoal oil


This recipe is not made with veal, but with beef, which is transformed into veal by soaking in smoked milk.

Smoke the milk for 30 minutes in a smoker.

Clean the beef to remove any imperfections. Place the beef and the smoked milk in a sous-vide bag and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Remove and pat dry (do not rinse it). Roll the beef in the coal ash so that it is completely covered and black. Shake it to remove any excess powder. Place the fillet in a sous-vide bag with the coal oil and cook in a water bath at 64°C (147°F) for 35 minutes

Remove the fillet from the bag. Slice off the blackened ends and cut into 4 pieces. The outside should be covered with charcoal and the inside should be a uniform pink. It will look raw, but is cooked; there should be no blood.

Ingredients to serve

3 g charcoal oil
2 g smoked salt


Brush the surface of the meat with charcoal oil and finish with a pinch of smoked salt. Decorate the plate with a criss-crossing of sauces. Place the meat strategically in a clean part of the plate.

Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. At Osteria Francescana, chef Massimo Bottura takes inspiration from contemporary art to create highly innovative dishes that play with Italian culinary traditions. It’s an approach that has won him three Michelin stars and the number three place on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. Illustrated with photography by Stefano Graziani and Carlo Benvenuto, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the first book from Bottura - the leading figure in modern Italian gastronomy.