Cold Veal with Tuna Fish Sauce (Vitello Tonnato)


6 - 8 servings
1 1/2 kg (3 lb) Boned leg or loin of veal
3 Anchovy fillets, halved
3 Garlic cloves, halved
200 g (7 oz) Canned tuna fish, oil reserved
1 Medium onion, sliced
2 Carrots, sliced
300 ml (10 fl oz) 1 1/4 cups Veal or chicken stock
175 ml (6 fl oz) 3/4 cup Dry white wine
3 Tbs White wine vinegar
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Dried basil
1 Tbs Chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

for the sauce

125 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 Hard-boiled egg yolks, strained
3 Tbs Double (heavy) cream, stiffly beaten

for the garnish

2 tsp Capers
6 Green or black olives, halved and stoned (pitted)


1. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (Gas Mark 4, 350°F).

2. Put the veal on a working surface and make six incisions in the meat. Insert half an anchovy fillet and half a garlic clove in each incision. Transfer the veal to a large flameproof casserole and add the tuna fish with its oil, the vegetables, stock, wine, vinegar, herbs and seasoning. Mix well and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer the casserole to the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until the veal is cooked through and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the casserole.

3. Remove the veal from the casserole and put it on a carving board. Carve into thin slices, then arrange the slices, slightly overlapping, on a large serving dish. Set aside.

4. Strain the casserole liquids into a bowl, rubbing the fish, vegetables and flavourings through with the back of a wooden spoon. pour off all but 250 ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) of the liquid, then beat in the mayonnaise, strained egg yolks and cream until the sauce is smooth. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

5. Pour the sauce over the veal slices to cover them and carefully cover the dish with foil or greaseproof or waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.

6. Remove from the refrigerator and remove the covering. Garnish with the capers and olives and serve at once.

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