Here is a very easy, very quick version of vitello tonnato, the wonderful Italian starter of veal lathered with unctuous tuna sauce. This short-cut version doesn’t require any extensive cooking or large cuts of meat, just use small veal escalopes instead of leg or loin roast and you’re good to go!
Of course, if you’re not on a budget, have easy access to those cuts and have time, a roast would give a softer texture. In which case – debone it, tie it up and simmer it in the following cooking stock for about 1h until it reaches an internal temperature of about 65°C (medium-well).
For the Cooking Stock:
4 small veal escalopes
450ml ham stock (or any other stock you have on hand)
1/2 cup white wine
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 bunch thyme (optional)
Fennel seeds (optional)
Mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) (optional)
For the Tuna Sauce:
1 x 160g can tuna, drained
4 anchovy fillets
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise (or make your own if you really want to go all the way!)
Salt and pepper
Start by cooking the veal: place it in a pan with all the other ingredients for the stock and top up with water to cover if necessary. Bring tot he boil then reduce to a soft simmer, skimming all the impurities that will rise to the surface. Cook slowly until fully cooked and tender. This shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes, once done, let cool.
For the sauce, simply blitz or process the tuna, anchovies, capers, lemon juice and lemon zest until nice and smooth. Season, then add mayonnaise and process some more. Adjust seasoning.
Top the chilled veal with the heavenly sauce and garnish with capers and lemon wedges.