"Veal is succulent and beautiful, but if you're not careful with your cooking it can dry out," says Alvarez. "The important thing here is not to have your grill at a raging high heat. Medium heat will allow you to cook this whole piece gently enough without too many flare-ups. Wrapping it in lardo is a way to add flavour and protect the meat as it cooks, while still imparting that charcoal flavour of the grill that we all love. Get your butcher to slice sheets of it for you to make the work fast."
- 2 veal backstraps (about 650gm each), silver skin trimmed, at room temperature
- 1 head green garlic, crushed with a mortar and pestle (see note)
- 48 medium-thick slices of lardo (see note)
- 4 large rosemary sprigs
- For drizzling: olive oil
- 1Bring a charcoal barbecue to medium heat. Season veal and rub with garlic. Place lardo slices overlapping on a sheet of baking paper to form a rectangle large enough to wrap each piece of veal, roll baking paper to enclose veal, then gently peel off baking paper. Place a rosemary sprig on each side of each fillet, secure at intervals with kitchen string and drizzle with a little olive oil. Grill, turning frequently, until browned, cooked rare and internal temperature reaches 55C on a meat thermometer (20-25 minutes). Rest for 15 minutes then serve.
Note Green garlic is harvested before the bulb matures. It's juicier and milder in flavour than mature garlic and is available from spring to mid-summer from select greengrocers. Substitute regular garlic if it's unavailable. Lardo is salted, cured pork back-fat, available from Italian delicatessens and butchers.
Drink Suggestion: Match this with a medium-bodied red wine with plenty of flavour, such as the Sicilian grape nero d’Avola; Alpha Box & Dice’s “Siren” from McLaren Vale is a good example. Drink suggestion by Franck Moreau