The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Christmas ham recipes

The centrepiece of any Christmas feast, hams can be glazed with many ingredients. Here are our favourite combinations.

Vitello tonnato


Begin this recipe at least a day ahead.

You'll need

To serve: thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and trimmed rocket leaves To serve: 2 lemons, segmented   Poached veal 1½ tbsp olive oil 2 (1.2kg) veal girello (see note) 1 onion, chopped 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced 1 carrot, thinly sliced 2 anchovy fillets 3 each cloves and juniper berries 750 ml dry white wine 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar 2 fresh bay leaves   Tuna sauce 5 eggs, at room temperature 500 gm canned tuna 1 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed, plus extra to serve Juice of 1 lemon 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

Method

  • 01
  • For poached veal, heat olive oil in a wide casserole over high heat and sear the veal until browned on all sides (3-5 minutes), then remove from the saucepan. Set aside.
  • 02
  • Add onion, celery, carrot, anchovies and spices to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender (6-8 minutes).
  • 03
  • Return veal to pan and deglaze the pan with white wine and vinegar. Add the bay leaves and just enough water to cover.
  • 04
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat, occasionally turning the veal, until it’s cooked pink (10-15 minutes; it should feel firm but spring back when pressed). Remove the meat from the liquid and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • 05
  • Simmer the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced by three-quarters (30-40 minutes), then strain and set liquid aside to cool.
  • 06
  • For tuna sauce, cook eggs in boiling water until hard-boiled (9 minutes). Cool in cold water, then peel and set aside.
  • 07
  • Process tuna, capers, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and eggs in a blender until smooth.
  • 08
  • With the blender running, gradually add enough reduced cooking liquid to the mixture (about 160ml) until it reaches a slightly runny mayonnaise consistency.
  • 09
  • Slice the veal thinly across the grain and set aside.
  • 10
  • Spread tuna sauce over a serving plate, arrange a single layer of veal slices on top and spoon more sauce over to cover. Repeat, finishing with a good layer of sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to steep. To serve, bring the vitello tonnato to room temperature, arrange capers, lemon segments, rocket and parmesan shavings on top and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

Note Girello, a cut from the hind leg, is also sold as veal nut. It's best when not too young but still very light in the flesh. It may need to be ordered ahead from your butcher.


Vitello tonnato

Perhaps Italy's most celebrated cold dish, vitello tonnato makes a great party plate, writes Guy Grossi, of Melbourne's Grossi Florentino. He shows us how it's done.

This dish originates in the north of Italy, in Piedmont, and having a mother from the north meant it featured on our dinner table regularly. It's still one of my family's favourite dishes and we often enjoy it at Christmas and other celebrations.

It's not clear where the idea came from to steep sliced veal in tuna sauce, but it may have been born of the Italian mentality of using up leftovers by turning them into something else. It could well have been that leftover veal and canned tuna was all some clever cook had on hand at the time. And out came vitello tonnato.

Vitello tonnato has a wonderfully unique flavour. While the combination of veal and tuna might seem strange, it certainly is one of the best examples I know of where land and sea work well together. While the body of the sauce is tuna, the flavour that comes from the addition of capers and lemon juice has the perfect balance of salt and acidity without any overpowering flavours of fish.

It's a perfect dish for entertaining. While most versions you see in restaurants outside Italy sauce the veal to order, traditionally it's made a day in advance. It's definitely one of those dishes that are better the day after it's made. Leaving the veal to sit in the tuna sauce for a day allows the flavours to infuse and the veal to soak up the sauce. Take it out in time to lose the chill of the fridge, and remember to have some crusty bread on hand for when the veal is gone. It would be a crime to waste that sauce.

The veal is poached slowly so it remains tender and pink in the centre; it's important to get this right - it should feel firm, but spring back from the touch. Once cooked, the veal should be sliced as thinly as as your sharpest knife will allow. And the tuna sauce, the hero here, should be light and creamy.

Some versions I've seen use mayonnaise, but this is not traditional, and if the sauce is made right you won't need to add it. I like to use our own house-preserved tuna; the flavour and texture of the tuna is delicate and adds a special dimension to the dish.

Of course, canned tuna is perfectly acceptable, too. There's lots of high-quality Italian canned tuna available, which makes this dish easy and accessible.

I like to use La Nicchia Pantelleria capers for both cooking and garnishing here. They're small, sweet capers with a pleasant flavour. Larger capers can be too salty and overpower the subtle tuna flavour of the sauce. The traditional garnishes for this dish, as well as capers, are lemon segments and shaved parmesan. Some rocket can dress it up nicely, too, and add some colour.

In warm weather this dish is easily a go-to for weekend gatherings and dinner parties. It looks impressive and there's no fussing to be done in the kitchen, so you can enjoy your company, glass of white wine in hand. Yes, please.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
The GT x STILY
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people

Featured in

Mar 2015

Recipes (11 )

You might also like...

Autumn recipes

recipes

Tempered chocolate

Braising recipes

recipes

Panettone, ricotta and peach cake

Italian recipes

recipes

Saltimbocca alla Romana

Fast autumn recipes

recipes

Roast lamb loin with couscous and pumpkin

Chocolate recipes

recipes

Ditali with broccolini and bread

Apple recipes

recipes

Chicken rolled with fontina, prosciutto and sage

Autumn vegetarian recipes

recipes

Fried provolone with red wine vinegar

Almond recipes

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×