January 18, 2010 in Uncategorized
This truly is a cracker of a recipe. What it lacks in general visual appeal it kicks A### in the taste department. This is the perfect dish to serve al fresco or for a fabulous lunch. How often do we wrack our brains for something that included meat but is served chilled on these hot summer days and nights.
This wonderful dish from the Piedmont region of Italy – is incredibly easy to prepare. The pilgrims and even the Crusaders travelling from Cantebury to Rome would pass through Piedmonte and enjoy this dish in roadside taverns. What a romantic fact!!!
Nonna Lilly, has often presented a dish of Vitello Tonnato for either the Christmas or New Years Eve buffet table. I remember one year, she prepared the dish on a beautiful round silver platter and decorated it with black truffle – to look like a clock. I mean, this is one sassy Nonna, who, in her day NEVER spared any expense or effort in presenting and preparing wonderful inspiring food. I don’t know if I have publicly thanked her, for she taught me how to cook when hubby and I were courting. Every Thursday night – and I must add that I could not cook ANYTHING!! – Nonna would patiently walk me through a recipe explaing absolutely everything with such kindness. Grazie infinite Mamma xxxx
Vitello tonnato is traditionally prepared using a veal roast – but with the general scarsity of this cut of meat I would venture to suggest that (People of Piedmonte forgive me !) a nice fillet sealed and roasted to medium rare would be even nicer. Oh my hat I could be burnt on the stake for this one.
I hope that you make it – and I just know that you will enjoy it tremedously. It’s the perfect dish for an African summer!!!
Ingredients for the Roast Veal
1 Veal Roast
1 stick celery
3 bay leaves
2 chicken stock cubes
2 glasses of dry white wine
whole pepper corns
a few sprigs of rosemary
Olive oil for frying
6 cloves of garlic
In a pot – seal the roast on all sides in the olive oil
Add all of the other ingredients and cover with water
Bring to the boil for 15 minutes and reduce right down to a slow simmer
I cooked mine for about an hour and a half
when it’s cooked. put the lid on the pot and leave to cool off the stove nice and slowly
this will tenderise the meat nicely.
If you want to make this with a fillet
roll the fillet in lots of flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
Seal the fillet in a pan and then place it in the oven
at 200d for 20 – 25 minutes depending on how rare you enjoy your meat
when cooked enough remove and cover and allow to cool.
FOR THE TUNA & CAPER MAYO SAUCE
There are 2 ways to do this.
If you are feeling all cheffy make a home made mayonnaise and add the following to the
blender when its nice and creamy.
2 anchovettes very finely chopped
100ml of capers – well drained and finely copped
the juice of 1 large lemon
the zest of half of the lemon
lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sugar
2 tins of well drained tuna (in oil for those not watching their weight and without for the dieters)
Add the above to the blender and pulse until nicely amalgamated.
Taste – taste taste – i dont add salt because the anchovettes are salty and so are the capers
but have a taste and adjust to your liking – I like lots of lemon in mine to cut through
the richness of the dish.
The Other way to make this sauce
If, like me, you were hecticly busy go the Nigella route – quick and easy
Take a small bottle of Helmans Mayonnaise and
add the ingredients above.
I can promise you that you are not compromising the end result using ready made mayo
Finally – to put the dish together
Cut thin slices of the veal or fillet and lay them on a platter
Pour the tuna caper mayo over and decorate with some
Or – if you are feeling very very energetic
buy some black truffle and decorate
the platter to look like a clock –
Just like Nonna!!!!!!
I served my vitello tonnato with salad.
You could also go the more traditional route and serve with
baby potatoes tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper with a green salad!!