Vitello Tonnato (Veal with Tuna-Caper Sauce)
Many Piedmontese families serve this cold antipasto, a classic combination of tender veal and a creamy sauce, on Christmas.
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
- 12 whole peppercorns
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 fresh sage leaves
- 2 carrots, halved crosswise
- 1 large yellow onion, halved
- 1 rib celery, halved crosswise
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 (2 1/2-lb.) piece veal top round, tied with kitchen twine
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1⁄2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 7 oz. canned tuna, minced
- 3 tbsp. capers, minced, plus more
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 5 anchovy filets, minced
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- Bring salt, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, sage, carrots, onion, celery, rosemary, and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven. Add veal, reduce heat; simmer, covered, until a thermometer reads 135°, 30–40 minutes. Transfer veal to a plate; cover with foil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots to a cutting board and cut into 1⁄4” pieces; set aside. Discard broth.
- Whisk together mustard and yolks in a bowl. While whisking, drizzle in 1 tsp. oil until mixture is thick. While whisking, drizzle in 1 1⁄4 cups oil until sauce becomes creamy. In a bowl, whisk together remaining oil, tuna, capers, lemon juice, and anchovies. Whisk mixture into sauce; season lightly with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Thinly slice veal across grain and arrange on a platter; top with sauce. Garnish with carrots, capers, parsley, lemon, and olives.
Pairing note: A crisp white like Matteo Correggia Roero Arneis 2008 ($19) is a lovely match for this piquant dish.