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Vitello Tonnato

ingredients

750 g (1 1/2 lb) boned leg of veal, rolled
2 bay leaves
110 black peppercorns
2 - 3 cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
about 750 ml (1 1/4 pints) 3 cups stock or water
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup dry white wine (optional)
90 g (3 oz) canned tuna fish, well drained
50 g (1 1/2 oz) can anchovy fillets, drained
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp bottled capers, drained
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

to garnish

lemon wedges

method

1. Put the veal in a saucepan with the bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, salt and vegetables. Add sufficient stock or water and the wine (if using) to barely cover the veal. Bring to the boil, remove any scum from the surface, then cover the pan and simmer gently for an hour or so until tender. Leave in the water until cold, then drain thoroughly. If time allows, chill the veal to make it easier to carve.

2. For the tuna sauce: thoroughly mash the tuna with four anchovy fillets, 1 tablespoon oil and the capers. Add the egg yolks and press through a sieve (strainer) or puree in a food processor or liquidizer until smooth.

3. Stir in the lemon juice then gradually whisk in the rest of the oil a few drops at a time until the sauce is smooth and has the consistency of thick cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Slice the veal thinly and arrange on a platter in overlapping slices. Spoon the sauce over the veal to cover. Then cover the dish and chill overnight.

5. Before serving, uncover the veal carefully. Arrange the remaining anchovy fillets and the capers in a decorative pattern on top, and garnish with lemon wedges and herbs.

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