Vitello Tonnato (Maniera Antica)

August 31, 2020

This recipe comes from the Italian food blog called “Giallo Zafferano” and the only thing I have altered and adjusted to my liking is the sauce. Otherwise I love it as it is and this is how I most often make my Vitello Tonnato .

There are two important particularities of the maniera antica version for this classic Italian dish served as an antipasto: it is a roast (rather than a boiled joint of meat) and there isn’t any mayonnaise in the sauce.

I hope you enjoy it.

Serves 4-6:

  • about 600 g of veal top round
  • 1 garlic clove (plus one toothpick*)
  • 125 g tuna in oil (drained and separated into small pieces)
  • 20 g of anchovies in oil (drained)
  • 20 g of capers ( if using capers in salt, soak them for 1h in cold water and drain) 
  • a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
  • 80 ml of dry white wine
  • 150 ml of milk
  • a few pinches of salt
  • black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs 
  • 15-20 ml of Marsala wine
  • 40 ml of olive oil

You don’t have to tie your veal joint with cooking twine (as it may be suggested you do so in other recipes for this particular dish).

Heat up the oil in a pan on a medium heat. Season your veal cut with salt and pepper and add it to the pan along with the garlic skewered with a toothpick (this way it’s much easier to find it).

Gently fry the veal for about 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly golden in colour. At the same time make sure that the garlic doesn’t burn, leaving an undesirable bitter aftertaste.

Now add the tuna, anchovy fillets and capers to the pan, arranging them all around the veal. 

Fry all together until the tuna has gained a golden colour. 

Pour in the white wine. Once the wine has reduced a little pour in the milk all around the veal. 

Now transfer the pan into the preheated oven to 180 C (165-170 C if using a fan assisted oven) allowing 7-8 minutes of roasting on each side.

Take the pan from the oven, loosely cover it with some aluminium foil. Leave at room temperature to cool down completely.

Prepare the sauce.

Remove the roast veal cut, cover it and leave in the fridge.

Remove the garlic and discard.

Put all the remaining ingredients along with the roasting juices into a blender. Add two eggs (quartered), Marsala wine, two thirds of the olive oil, a pinch of salt and blitz everything until smooth.

If the sauce seems to watery, add another half of the whole egg as well as more olive oil, which gives a lovely creamy texture to the sauce. Blend everything agin and adjust the seasoning. 

Pour the sauce into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a fridge to cool down.

Bear in mind that the sauce will slightly thicken in a fridge.

For serving:

Cut your cold roast veal across as thinly as possible (if you have a slicer now is the perfect time to use it).

Neatly arrange the veal slices on a serving plate and generously spoon the sauce over them.

Garnish with some extra capers or some fresh parsley leaves.