Artist's Palate: Maurizio Cattelan's Venetian-style cat casserole

(Image credit: press)

We should have known to expect an animal in an unusual context from art satirist Maurizio Cattelan. In this case, it's a cat in the context of a carrot, potato and mushroom casserole. Cattelan made his name with such absurdist juxtapositions, famously giving the art world's commentariat a post-suicide squirrel sitting at a kitchen table to ponder over. This recipe is not one for the cat lovers among our readership, although in some of the more esoteric restaurants in Guangdong, the only objection would be that it's not quite spicy enough. For our Catholic readers, it could have been worse; he might just as easily have sent us a recipe for squashed Pope.

(Serves 4)

1 cat, about 1.4kg, cut up
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped celery
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1 bay leaf
4 1/3 cups water
4 cups dry red wine
2 cups diced carrots
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
115g sliced mushrooms, sauteed

Dredge cat pieces with 1/2 cup flour. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, and brown cat pieces on all sides.

Add celery, onion, salt, pepper, bay leaf, 4 cups water, and wine, bringing to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer cat stew for 2 hours.

Add carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender.

Combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup water; stir until well blended and smooth. Stir flour mixture into the broth, and cook and stir until thickened.

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms