Vitello Tonnato

Total Time:
2 hr 24 min
24 min
2 hr

8 servings

  • 2 1/2 pound piece of boneless veal top round, tied
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 onion, carrot and celery, each finely chopped
  • Bouquet garni: 1 peeled clove garlic, 4 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf and 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme, tied in
  • cheesecloth
  • 6 1/2 to 7- ounce can tuna fish, preferably imported from Italy and preferably packed in olive oil
  • Small can (2 ounces) flat anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/2 cup each vegetable oil and extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest and 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the veal in a casserole large enough to accomodate it. Add the wine and enough water to cover the veal by 1/2 an inch. Remove veal and set aside. Add vegetables and bouquet garni to the water and bring the liquid to a boil. Return the meat to the simmering water, cover and cook gently for about 1 1/2 hours or until the veal is cooked through.

Remove the veal from the heat and let it cool in its own liquid, remove it from the liquid and the veal is ready. (Boil the remaining liquid down by half and use as you would broth.) Remove strings and thinly slice.

In a food processor puree until creamy the tuna fish, anchovies, capers, vegetable and olive oils. Add lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice (add more if you wish). Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the mayonnaise and season very well with salt and pepper.

Spread bottom of a shallow nonmetal dish with a layer of tuna sauce. Arrange some veal slices, in a single layer, end to end, over the tuna sauce. Cover first layer of veal again with tuna sauce. Build up a second layer of veal and cover with sauce again. End with a generous layer of sauce, (making sure veal is entirely covered so that it does not dry out). Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Serve chilled with steamed haricot verts (French green beans) or asparagus along with wedges of ripe tomato, halved pitted black olives, snipped chives and chopped parsley.

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