Vitello Tonnato

Serves: 8

Vitello Tonnato

This fabulous veal dish from the Piedmont region of Italy would feature in my last supper menu. For those who worry about buying veal the good news is that you can now buy ethically reared rose veal all over the UK. I buy mine online from Alternative Meats who have a fantastic range of veal cuts from escalopes to osso bucco. I would cook the veal the day before as it is much easier to slice thinly when it is cold and had a chance to firm up. I make no apologies for the large amount of tuna sauce -any leftovers make a delicious dressing for new potatoes or poured into baked sweet potatoes.


  • 1.5kg fillet of rose veal
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 200ml vermouth
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • For the tuna sauce
  • 2 x 160g tins tuna in oil, drained
  • 300g mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • 100ml crème frâiche or plain yogurt
  • 8 salted anchovy fillets (in oil)
  • 3 tablespoons capers in vinegar, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • To serve
  • Black olives plus a few extra anchovies for decoration
Vitello Tonnato


  1. Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Rub the veal fillet with the olive oil. Heat a frying pan until very hot and brown the fillet for 3-4 minutes, turning to ensure it browns evenly. Transfer to a roasting tin and pour in the vermouth and stock. Season the meat with salt and ground black pepper. Cover with 2 layers of foil and cook for 35-45 minutes-depending on the thickness of the veal. If you have a meat thermometer the temperature should read 55-57˚ in the thickest part of the fillet. Leave the veal to cool in the poaching liquor and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor and process until smooth. You shouldn’t need to add any more salt but season with some ground black pepper. If the sauce is quite thick add a tablespoon or two of the cold poaching liquor from the veal.
  3. To assemble the dish, slice the veal as thinly as possible and arrange a layer over the base of a serving dish. Cover with a little of the sauce. Continue to layer meat and sauce ending with a layer of sauce. Decorate with black olives and some anchovies. Serve at room temperature.
Vitello Tonnato