Vitello Tonnato Extremely Sous-Vide

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Vitello tonnato is one of my favorite dishes. The combination of slices of tender veal with a tuna sauce is surprisingly delicious. I’ve posted a sous-vide version of Vitello Tonnato before, but in that version only the veal was cooked sous-vide. This can be taken a step further, by cooking the tuna and the eggs sous-vide as well. This way, the sauce will have a cleaner, more elegant flavor.

Ingredients

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For 4 servings

450 grams (1 lb) veal, eye of round

2 anchovy fillets, or a similar amount of anchovy paste

freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)

1 Tbsp capers

extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

115 grams (4 oz) fresh tuna

2 eggs

a bay leaf

2 cloves

1/2 carrot

1/2 onion

1 stick celery

1 sprig rosemary

125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine

Preparation

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Vacuum seal 115 grams (4 oz) of fresh tuna with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 salt.

If you do not have a chamber vacuum sealer, use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method.

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Cook sous-vide for 1 hour at 71ºC/160ºF together with two eggs in their shell. Then take eggs and tuna out of the sous-vide and allow to cool.

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In the meantime, season the veal with salt and freshly ground black pepper and brown it on all sides in olive oil over high heat.

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We are just browning the veal, not cooking it through. So take it out of the pan as soon as it is nicely golden on all sides.

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Put the veal on a plate to cool. Keep the fat in the pan.

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Mince 1/2 carrot, 1/2 onion, a stick of celery, a bay leaf, 2 cloves, and the needles of a sprig of rosemary.

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Put the vegetable mixture in the pan in which you browned the veal, and stir over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

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Deglaze with 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine.

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Allow the alcohol to evaporate for a couple of minutes over medium heat, then turn off the heat and allow to cool off.

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The veal will have released some juices while cooling. We never waste any flavor, so…

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…those juices need to be added to the vegetable mixture in the pan.

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Vacuum seal the veal with the vegetables. If you do not own a chamber vacuum sealer, use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method. For this method, the veal and vegetables do not have to be cold.

When using a chamber vacuum sealer, the veal and vegetables have to be cold before vacuum sealing, as the low pressure would otherwise cause the contents of the bag to come to a boil (the boiling point of water is lower at a low pressure, as you may remember from science class).

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Put the veal in the sous-vide…

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…at 55C/131F…

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…for 3 to 5 hours. The cooking time is not very exact. After that, allow the veal to cool.

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To make the tuna sauce, peel the eggs and put them in the food processor together with the tuna, 2 anchovy fillets (or a similar amount of anchovy paste), a tablespoon of rinsed and dried capers, some extra virgin olive oil, and about a tablespoon of the cooking liquid from the veal.

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Process until smooth, adding more extra virgin olive oil if needed.

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Taste and adjust the seasoning with freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

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Once the veal has cooled off in the refrigerator, slice it thinly against the grain.

Arrange the slices of veal on a platter, spread a layer of the tuna sauce on top, and allow the flavors to marry for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

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Serve cooler than room temperature, but warmer than refrigerator temperature.

Wine pairing

Vitello Tonnato is a dish from Piemonte, and it goes well with a white Gavi di Gavi from that same region.

Flashback

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Gnocchi alla sorrentina are potato gnocchi with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

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10 thoughts on “Vitello Tonnato Extremely Sous-Vide

  1. Love this too: it was one of the first dishes I learned to make [no, not sous-vide!] when I first got married. Never had the chance to do it properly with fresh tuna. Thanks for the warning re final temperatures: remember one disaster in the tropics where I tried to serve the dish nicely plated up on a large platter straight from the fridge: learned my lesson when I seemed to be dealing with superglue 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Stefan,

    First try to prepare also one of my favorite dishes the sous vide way.
    My butcher had only veal loin (lende)
    Do you think I need to use less time in the sous vide?

    Best regards,

    Frans

    Like

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