Florentine Style Meat in a Baking Dish.

“Neapolitan Recipe Collection”

as translated by Terence Scully;

Recipe 50

Florentine-Style Meat in a Baking Dish: Get veal or another meat with the bone, cut it into the pieces as small as a fist, and put them into a baking dish with a little water, a beaker of wine and another of good verjuice; if you master likes, add in a few slices of onion or, should he not like onions, use parsley, the root that is along with raisins, dried prunes, and salt; cover the meat by no more than a finger of water, and set it in the oven; when it looks half done, add a few cloves, a good lot of cinnamon, pepper and a good lot of saffron let it taste of pepper; when it is half cooked, turn it over; then take it out onto a plate with the spices and sugar on top, or else leave it in the baking dish. You can do the same with fish that is, grey mullet or eels cut into pieces four fingers in width, washed well and put into a baking dish with a little oil. Note that you can make these things sweet or tart according to our master’s taste..

It’s winter. It’s cold, I want to make hearty food. There are beef short ribs in the fridge. It looks like a plan.

cut the meat into approximately 4 ounce chunks, and poured an equal proportion of wine, verjus, and water over them. I shaved an onion into the pot, put in a good handful of black raisins, and seasoned the pot with about a half-teaspoon of salt.


meat, sliced onions, and raisins in a wine-based cooking liquid, in a large pot.
all of the ingredients ready to go

After 45 minutes I put in the called for spices, and let it go for another 15 or 20 minutes.

It’s a bit of a pot roast with overtones of sauerbraten. We are not complaining.

cooked portions of meat in a bowl, ready to be served
The final product, waiting for sauce and vegetables.

This is a regular dish on our table, it only needs about 5 minutes of attention at the beginning, and two in the middle of cooking. It needs no fancy slicing for service, as it is already in portion controlled pieces.

I appreciate the ease with which I can adapt this balance from sharp to sweet by using more or fewer raisins and /or prunes. It’s good comforting food which succeeds best when a cheap rough cut of beef is used, though the original suggests many alternative proteins.

I used;

1c Commercial verjus

1c California red Zinfandel

1c water

2 lbs short ribs

1/4c black raisins

A cinnamon stick, crushed (canela)

a healthy pinch of pepper

4 whole cloves,

a pinch of Kosher salt


+ Cheap cuts of meat work well.

+ Simple seasonings.

+ One burner, no complex methods.

+ reminiscent of Sauerbraten, so not a challenge to the timid palate.

+/- Calls for verjus (but there are reasonable substitutions available).

+ Pairs nicely with a variety of sauces and vegetable options

All in all, there is nothing about this presentation I do not enjoy, and nothing I cannot recommend.

It’s a clear winner.

5 Replies to “Florentine Style Meat in a Baking Dish.”

  1. That’s a nice simple dish that sounds yummy (except for the quadrupeds, but then you knew that part anyway). So two questions. First, is it Neopolitan or Florentine?

    Second, what do you call it when you say “I’m making X for dinner tonight”?

  2. Thora, try it with turkey thighs.
    I do tend to be heavy on the meat, but so are the books I am working from.

    When I make it for dinner, I usually say something like “I made something you like. It’s meat.”

    The dish is from the Neopolitan Collection, a set of recipes edited by Terence Scully.
    The title of the recipe listing within the book is “Florentine style meat in a baking dish,” so I assume that it’s a borrowed recipe, like “Chicago Style pizza.”

  3. I’ve never cooked with turkey thighs, but this is definitely worth a shot.

    The “Florentine” tag threw me, since there’s no spinach in it. 😉

  4. Thora; AH! I see.
    The Neapolitan Cookbook includes regional dishes, to greater or lesser effect. It reminds me of some 50’s cookbooks, with “Italian Pasta” recipes.
    The author had quite an attitude, it’s a fun book to read.

    Turkey thighs are great, I like to cook them bone-in, then trim when done.

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