Grandma Mariangela’s veal dish

Here is Grandma Mariangela’s vitello tonnato (veal dish with tuna), one of the most famous recipes in our family. All her grandchildren (even if they are grown up) love it a lot: they are very happy when she decides to prepare this delicious dish and invite them for lunch.

The recipe comes from the Milanese cooking tradition, quite different from France or Piedmont vitel tonné. It is excellent even for low-calorie diets because, apart from the couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise, it is a recipe with no fat or carbohydrates.

You have to prepare this dish in advance, because it needs to stay in the fridge at least 12 hours before serving.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of round (topside) of veal
  • 1 sweet pepper (capsicum), yellow or red: from this choice depends the colour of the sauce
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cans of tuna fish in oil (medium size)
  • 300 gr. pickled vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 12 pitted green olives
  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • the grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • the grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • pickles for decoration

And now the easy preparation of this dish.

  • Wash and cut the vegetables in small cubes.
  • Drain tuna, pickles and olives.
  • Except for the mayonnaise, place every ingredient in the recipe in a large pot with a thick bottom.
  • Let the pot simmer on low with a lid for one hour.
  • Then, take the meat out and let it cool.
  • To make the sauce, remove the bay leaves and blend till semi-smooth all the remaining ingredients with a immersion blender.
  • It must be not too liquid, but not too dry, to give softness to the meat.
  • Now, add the mayonnaise to the sauce (see my mayonnaise recipe here if you want to prepare it at home, and I recommend it).
  • Cut the meat into aprox. 1cm slices, preferably with an electric knife.
  • In a large deep bowl put a first layer of sauce and overlap a second layer of meat.
  • Continue alternating layers, until the last layer is the sauce.
  • Decorate it with pickles and fresh vegetables.
  • When the veal is completely cold, cover the bowl with a film and leave it in the fridge for at least twelve hours.

You can serve this veal dish with a fresh salad and a dry white wine. Enjoy it!

If you wish to practise Italian language, read the same recipe on this post.