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Recipe for
vitellina fricta
(Fried Veal)

By Apicius VIII, V, I

vitellina fricta (Fried Veal)

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The Roman Cookery of Apicius
AFAIK, this recipe comes from Edwards and was inserted by the original site author (I will say again to PLEASE buy these author's books! By doing so, you will help support them — even for books that are older and might not sell as well anymore... These authors do not do this for money, they do it for love. Please support them!

Look, the Romans did not really eat steak. I have no idea where this came from. According to Correus, there are a few that are similar, but the ingredients are similar to dozens of meat and non-meat dishes. It's more an attmept to "Roman-up" something we modern folks like. Great... Try it and eat it in that vein. Don't think that the average Roman ate steak. Here's some notes:

The closest recipes to be associated with "steak" aren't even close to the one mentioned above but can be found in Apicius: De Re Coquinaria, Book 8 — The Quadruped (Liber VIII Tetrapus), Chapter 5. Beef and Veal (V. Bubula Sive Vitellina ):

  1. Fried Veal (I. Vitellina Fricta)
  2. Veal or Beef With Leeks or Quinces or Onions or Taros (II. Vitulinum Sive Bubulam Cum Porris <Vel> Cydoneis Vel Cepis Vel Colocasiis)
  3. Sauce for Boiled Veal (III. In Vitulinam Elixam)
  4. Another Sauce for Boiled Veal (IV. Aliter In Vitulin Elixa).

Something to really keep in mind, is that the Romans were very similar to us when it came to chunks of meat. When we cook "steaks" it's generally on a grill or frying pan/griddle. It is usually cooked with a little salt and pepper or along with other spices or a steak rub; the Romans loved to grill their meats the same way.

Original recipe: piper, ligusticum, apii semen, cuminum, origanum, cepam siccam, 61 uvam passam, mel, acetum, vinum, liquamen, oleum, defritum.

Translation: For a sauce with fried beef or veal take pepper, lovage, celery seed, cumin, origano, dry onion, raisins, honey, vinegar, wine, broth, oil, and reduced must.


  • Veal
  • Dried raisins or sultanas
  • Honey
  • Vinegar
  • White wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Defritum
  • Liquamen (or salt)
  • Pepper
  • Celery seeds,
  • LiebstoecklLovage
  • Cumin,
  • Oregano
  • Dried onion


  • Fry veal in olive oil until well done.
  • Mix raisins, wine, vinegar, honey, oil, Liquamen and spices together in another pan.
  • Boil the sauce.
  • Pour over the veal, then leave the meat for a few minutes.
  • Cook on low heat until tender
  • Serve.
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