Saturday, July 06, 2013

Vitello Tonnato

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
This is a recipe for a dish I learned in 1975 when I had my first kitchen job at Montana Palace in NYC, and I have loved it ever since! Yes you have to cook it, but you do that in advance, when it's cool and serve it chilled. It actually improves by doing it ahead of time. For those of you who don't eat veal, you can use the same sauce on chicken or even swordfish.

1 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) veal roast from the leg or loin, boned and tied
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 (6-ounce) cans oil-packed solid white tuna, drained
8 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Lemon slices, for garnish

In a large Dutch oven or casserole, combine the veal, chicken stock, wine, onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Add water as needed to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover tightly. Simmer, turning once, until the meat is tender and an instant-read thermometer registers 145 to 150 degrees F, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.Transfer the veal to a platter and let cool. Strain and reserve the cooking broth. Wrap the veal tightly and refrigerate until well chilled (up to 24 hours). To make the sauce, combine the tuna, anchovies, capers, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a blender or food processor and blend to a very smooth texture, about 2 minutes. Add the mayonnaise and process to blend thoroughly. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved cooking broth. Add more, if desired, to taste or for a thinner consistency. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for at least 2 and up to 24 hours. (The sauce tastes best if made 1 day in advance and allowed to rest overnight). To serve, thinly slice the meat and arrange on a platter. Drizzle the sauce over each slice, season generously with the kosher salt and black pepper. Garnish by sprinkling with additional capers and chopped parsley. Arrange the lemon slices around the platter and serve. Perhaps you are going to need some wine, some bread, and a salad.