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Veal with Tuna Sauce (Vitello Tonnato)

This is a Northern Italian classic.



  • 1 (4 pound) leg of veal, boned, rolled and tied
  • 1 (2 ounce) can anchovy fillets, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 stalks celery (with leaves), cut up
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, cut up
  • 4 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Minced parsley

Tuna Sauce

  • 1 (3 1/2 ounce) can white tuna, drained
  • 1 (3 1/4 ounce) jar capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Reserved anchovies
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 cup reserved broth


  1. Veal: Make 10 to 12 deep cuts down length of meat with small knife.
  2. Cut 3 anchovy fillets into 3/4-inch pieces. Cover and refrigerate remaining anchovies for Tuna Sauce.
  3. Stuff a piece of anchovy and a slice of garlic into each cut.
  4. Place meat, wine, celery, onions, carrots, bouillon, peppercorns, 4 sprigs parsley, the bay leaves, salt, thyme and enough water to cover in Dutch oven. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Skim foam if necessary.
  5. Remove from heat; cool.
  6. Remove meat from broth; strain and reserve 1/4 cup broth for Tuna Sauce.
  7. Tuna Sauce: Pat meat dry; cut into thin slices.
  8. Spoon a thin layer of Tuna Sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  9. Arrange meat slices in sauce.
  10. Spoon remaining sauce over meat slices.
  11. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  12. Arrange meat slices on platter; spoon Tuna Sauce over meat. Sprinkle with snipped parsley.
  13. Tuna Sauce: Place tuna, capers, oil, lemon juice, egg yolk, garlic and remaining anchovies in blender container. Cover and blend on low speed just until well blended, about 45 seconds. Season with salt and white pepper.
  14. Add whipping cream and reserved broth; blend on low speed just until well blended, about 30 seconds.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

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