Cold Veal with Tuna Sauce

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 12h 50m

Serves 6

A specialty of Milan and Piedmont, vitello tonnato is a typical summer dish. It has a cool, fresh taste and is equally good as an antipasto or as the main course of a light lunch, enjoying wide popularity not only in restaurants but also on the family table. There are any number of recipes with personal variations introduced by every cook. The version given here may be taken as the universally accepted formula in professional kitchens.


  • 2 pounds lean veal, such as topside
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 or 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • For Sauce:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 ounces tuna packed in olive oil, drained, with oil reserved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced


Put the veal in a bowl along with the carrot, onion, cloves, bay leaves and some salt and pepper. Pour in the wine to cover. Cover and refrigerate overnight to infuse the flavors.

The next morning, wrap the meat in a white napkin, lay it in a casserole or saucepan and pour in the marinade. Place over moderate heat and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the meat is soft and tender. Remove the napkin (which serves to keep it in shape) and set the meat aside to cool.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, prepare a good quantity of mayonnaise by beating the egg yolks with the tuna olive oil and lemon juice. Push the tuna through a strainer or process it in a food processor until very fine, and fold it gently into the mayonnaise. Dilute the sauce with the white wine and vinegar; stir in the capers.

Slice the veal, arrange it on a serving dish and coat it with the sauce. Refrigerate until serving time.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 1003

nutrition information per serving

431 calories; 12g total fat; 209mg cholesterol; 1097mg sodium; 20g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 44g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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