My first try at Vitello Tonnato

I don’t recall when nor in which restaurant I ate for the first time Vitello Tonnato but ever since I just absolutely love it! however I never tried to make it myself, challenge set. and surprise, it was not that hard, okay I took some shortcuts by using veal stock and mayonnaise so yes some Italians will frown but truly it is delish.

Vitello Tonnato is an Italian dish, a true surf and turf dish from the region of Piedmonte. Consisting of sliced veal covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce with tuna and capers. Generally it is served in summertime as an antipasto or main course. The veal requires braising and resting, making it in advance is a must.

Making this dish, one of my ultimate favourite is daunting, cause what if it doesn’t come out right? now fear aside, let’s get started!

There are plenty of recipes online to choose from, as usual created my own version from reading about 20 different ones. Not sure if Italian mama’s will approve but I was pretty impressed with the result and wondered why I was worried trying this. All you need is time …

Vitello Tonnanto

Yield 4 portions


  • 500 gr veal roast
  • 500 ml chicken or veal stock
  • 50 ml white wine
  • fresh herbs : thyme and baie leave
  • 1 red onion, chopped in 4 large pieces
  • 200 gr canned tuna
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 5 large capers and a few as garnish 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 50 gr mayonnaise, homemade or shop bought
  • salt and pepper


  1. Pour the stock and wine into a pot just large enough to fit the veal. Add the herbs and onion, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and add the veal, bring back to a boil for a few minutes, turn the veal on all sides for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and cover the pot and let the veal cool in its liquid for 2 hours.
  2. Drain the tuna, add to food processor with the anchovies, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, mayonnaise, season with salt and pepper. Blitz till creamy and uniform sauce. Add more mayonnaise or olive oil to get the consistency you prefer. (I don't like it lumpy)
  3. Slice the cooled veal very very thinly, layer on the plate. Add the tuna sauce, garnish with capers and serve.


on by Sandra Slawinski

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