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Vitello Tonnato (Veal with Tuna Mayonnaise)

3 to 3 1/2 lb boneless veal roast securely tied
3 flat anchovy fillets, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 to 2 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
2 onions, quartered
2 carrots, cut up
3 sticks of celery, cut up
2 bay leaves
6 parsley sprigs
10 whole peppercorns

Tuna Mayonnaise

1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 3 oz can tuna, preferably Italian in olive oil
4 flat anchovy fillets, drained and soaked in water for 10 minutes, then cut into small pieces
1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs heavy cream
3 to 6 Tbs cooled, strained veal braising stock from above
1 1/2 Tbs capers, thoroughly washed and drained
white pepper


2 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
2 lemons sliced
1 1/2 Tbs capers
12 black olives

Make deep incisions along the length of the veal with a small sharp knife and insert a 1 inch piece of anchovy and a sliver of garlic in each one. Blanch the veal in a large saucepan by covering it with cold water and boiling it over a high heat for 1 minute. Pour off the water and quickly rinse the meat of its scum in cold water.

Place the veal in a heavy saucepan just large enough to hold it comfortably. Add the chicken stock, wine, water, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns. If the liquid does not quite cover the meat completely, add more chicken stock or water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer the veal slowly, partially covered for about 1 hr. and 40 min, until the veal is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove the pan from the heat and let the veal cook in the stock. Ladle out about 6 tbs. of the stock, strain through a fine sieve and put aside in a cup or bowl to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the Tuna Mayonnaise. In a blender mix the oil, egg, tuna, anchovy and lemon juice. Whirl at high speed for about 10 min. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in the cream gradually. Add the cooled, strained stock, 2 tbs at a time until the sauce is thinned to the consistency of a thick cream. You probably need about 3 tbs of the stock in all. Stir in the capers, taste sauce for seasoning.

When the veal is cooked, transfer it to a carving board, strain the braising stock and refrigerate for soups and sauces. Trim the veal of any fat or gristle and cut the meat into thin, even slices. Spread a thin film of the tuna mayonnaise in the bottom of a plate or baking dish and arrange the veal in a sauce laying the slices side by side. Pour the rest of the sauce over the veal, smoothing it with a spatula to mask each slice. Cover the dish with a sheet of plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight if possible.

About one hour before serving, remove the veal from the fridge and allow it to reach room temp. Arrange the slices so that they overlap as neatly as possible in a circle on a large serving dish. Spoon all the sauce over them. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and garnish with lemon slices, capers and black olives. Other garnishes could be green onions, tomatoes or hard boiled egg quarters.

NOTE: You can also make this with Scallopini (veal cutlet).

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

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