Saltimbocca is an Italian word which means “jump in the mouth” and if you’ve ever tried the dish you’ll understand why it’s called that. The original recipe calls for veal and I have no problem with eating veal but I couldn’t get any on the day I needed it and so I substituted the veal for pork loin steaks. There are a number of recipes out there for this dish and you can find the one I followed, Delia’s version, here.
- 2 x pork loin steaks (about 150g to 200g each)
- 2 x slices of Parma ham
- 2 x fresh sage leaves
- 170ml sweet red wine (e.g. Marsala)
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Method of Preparation:
- First of all beat the pieces of meat out to make them a little thinner. I use a clenched fist to do this, but don’t go mad and break the meat – it just needs to be flattened and stretched a bit. Season the meat with salt and pepper and now lay a slices of Parma ham on top of each (because they won’t be precisely the same size, fold the ham and double over the pieces if necessary to make them fit).
- Now place a sage leaf in the centre of each piece and secure it with half a cocktail stick, using it as you would a dress-making pin. Next, measure the sweet wine into a small saucepan and place it on a gentle heat to warm through. Now heat the oil in the frying pan until fairly hot, then fry the slices of pork (sage leaf side down first) for 2 minutes, then flip the pieces over and fry them for another 2 to 4 minutes until cooked through.
- After that, pour in the hot sweet wine and let it bubble and reduce for a minute or so until it becomes a syrupy sauce. Now transfer the pork to warm serving plates, remove the cocktail sticks and spoon the sauce over.
Delia’s rarely wrong and this is another success. The salt from the Parma ham and the juiciness of the pork with the earthy sage and sweet sticky sauce is just beautiful. I served it with some sautéed potatoes (as Delia suggests) and will definitely be making it again.