A fantastic party plate, according to Guy Grossi of Grossi Florentino, and we believe that! Although we haven't had a chance to test-run this dish in a party setting yet (thank you COVID-19), we thoroughly enjoyed devouring it as a party of two. Our take on this recipe has been adapted from Guy Grossi's version, published in Gourmet Traveller, which can be accessed here: https://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/recipes/browse-all/vitello-tonnato-14219. We used Lakey Farm beef girello (also called eye or round beef) in place of veal girello, and the result was fantastic.
Poached beef girello ingredients:
- Approximately 1.2kg of Lakey Farm beef girello
- 1.5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 3 cloves
- 3 juniper berries
- 750ml white wine
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
Tuna sauce ingredients:
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- 500g canned tuna
- 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed, and extra to serve
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and extra to serve
Poached veal method:
- Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a wide pan over high heat. Sear the beef for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until it is browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Place onion, carrot, celery, anchovies, and spices in the pan and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, until just tender.
- Return the beef to the pan. Using the white wine and vinegar, deglaze the pan. Add the bay leaves and enough water to cover the pan's contents.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer over low heat. Turn the beef occasionally and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, until the meat is pink. The beef should feel firm but should spring back when pressed. Remove the beef from the liquid and place it to the side to return to room temperature.
- Over high heat, simmer the liquid in the pan until reduced by three quarters, for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Strain and set the liquid aside to cool.
Tuna sauce method:
- Hard boil the eggs by cooking in boiling water for approximately 9 minutes. Place the eggs in cold water to cool, then peel and set aside.
- Place tuna, capers, lemon juice, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a blender and process until smooth.
- Gradually add enough cooking liquid (approximately 160ml) to the blender, as it is running, so that the mixture reaches a mayonnaise-like consistency.
- Slice the beef thinly, across the grain, and set aside.
- Spread the tuna sauce onto a serving plate and arrange a single layer of beef slices on top. Spoon more sauce over, covering the meat. Add another layer of beef sliced and spoon another layer of tuna sauce on top. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Prior to serving, bring the vitello tonnato to room temperature. Arrange capers, rocket and parmesan on top and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Serve with a bottle of chilled white wine—we love enjoying this dish with our Lakey Farm Heathcote Grampians Verdelho Viognier.