Vitel tonneè veal in tuna sauce

Preparation time
Cooking time




Put the meat, a carrot, the onion, the celery stick, the white wine, the nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large pot, or in the pressure cooker, cover completely with water and bring to the boil. Then let simmer for about 1 hour and a half  over gentle heat. If using a pressure cooker, bring to low pressure and maintain pressure for 10 minutes.



Let the meat cool off, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2-3 hours.

Keep apart ½ cup of the stock obtained from cooking the meat. You can freeze the rest of the stock for other occasions, it will work as a superb meat stock for pasta or risotto.



Prepare the sauce. Drain the canned tuna and put it in a food processor with the anchovy fillets, the capers, the hard boiled egg, and start blending. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the majonaise little by little, so that the sauce can absorb it completely. In 2-3 minutes you’ll be able to obtain a smooth creamy sauce, if not soft and smooth, add some of the stock, little by little.



When the meat is completely chilled, slice it in thin slices. You can serve it simply  over large serving plate, topped with the sauce or in a more creative way, like in my picture. The reason why I set the plate in a less traditional way is that the most common serving stryle is really not appealing, and the pictures do not make justice to this terrific dish.



Vitello Tonnato or Vitel tonneè, is a sliced piece of veal served chilled in a creamy and savory tuna sauce. It’s a classic Italian recipe, originated in the Region I come from: Piedmont.

The King of Asparagus and I love so much this dish that any time we eat it we often think of what a life it would be without vitel tonneè. And we agree that if we had to choose only one food to eat for the rest of our life, we probably choose this one (actually he has a sort of top-ten recipes list and this is number one, tied with ribollita soup…)

Someone makes the sauce in a more modern way, simply processing mayonnaise with tuna fish, but it ends to work worse, the sauce lose its delicate, smoothie texture. My recipe is much closer to the traditional one, and is known as “Belle époque” style: it’s delicate and mouth filling taste has everything to do with quality and mildness of the ingredients, especially considering the contribution of olive oil, that must not be too strong, zesty or piquant.

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