Cookbook:Vitello Tonnato

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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

So.... the person who invented this had this brilliant idea. It went something like this... I have just cooked some veal.... let it go cold...now... what shall I cover it in? I know, let's mix up some mayonnaise, add some tuna and lemon juice, tip it all over the veal and see what it tastes like !! Sounds revolting, eh ?

Well, the guy was a genius. This is one of the Italian signature dishes, usually served as a starter, and is quite, quite delicious. If you really like it, serve it as a main course with maybe a bean and tomato salad''

Ingredients[edit]

  • 1 piece of fillet of veal
  • 1 400 gram jar of mayonnaise (it's not worth making your own for this one)
  • 200 gram tin of good quality tuna in olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Pepper and salt
  • 2 Bay leaves and a bouquet garni of mixed herbs
  • 1 small jar of single cream (in reserve)

Procedure[edit]

  1. Simmer the veal for about 15 minutes in water, with the Bay leaves and bouquet garni.
  2. Remove from the water once cooked, wrap it in either clingfilm or aluminium foil and place in the fridge for 3 hours until quite cool, or preferably overnight. It is important you don't try to do this whilst the veal is even slightly warm as it will mess up the sauce.

For the sauce:

  1. Turn the mayonnaise and the tin of tuna into a blender and blend until it is a smooth paste
  2. Add the juice of the lemon, a large pinch of pepper and a normal pinch of salt, and blend again.
  3. The sauce should not be runny, but neither should it be too stiff. So that it becomes a pourable consistency, add a few spoonfuls of the cream.
  4. Now take the cooked veal out of its wrapping and using a sharp knife slice as thin as you can possibly make them and arrange on a large serving dish. If you have a beat-basher, cover the slices of veal in foil and bash away at them until they are as thin as possible!
  5. Take the sauce and pour it over the veal so that the veal becomes completely covered in the sauce. Not too thick, not too thin.
  6. Decorate with capers. Grind some red pepper over the top (optional) and it is ready to serve.


You can decorate the dish using fresh pomegranate seeds and maybe some edible herb leaves here and there.

Alternative use of beef - If you have an issue with using veal, you can ROAST a piece of beef so it's rare, or even go to the deli counter and buy some rare roast beef and use that in place of the veal. I have also used raw steak for this dish which is quite delicious