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Vitello Tonnato – recipe by Michel Roux Jr.

I love Italian food, especially all the tantalising antipasti that are always so colourful and tasty. I came across the classic 'Vitello Tonnato' in Piedmont - a chilled surf and turf dish bursting with flavour. Here's my recipe with wines to match.

Vitello Tonnato

  • 500g loin of veal
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp of mustard
  • 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • 200g neutral oil
  • 5 fillets of anchovies
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • 150g Tuna in olive oil
  • 150g lamb’s lettuce
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Season the meat with salt and pepper before wrapping tightly in cling film.
  2. Then gently put the meat in simmering water for approximately 20 minutes, depending on how you enjoy eating your meat.
  3. Once cooked, let the meat rest for 1 hour before putting in the fridge overnight. It will be a lot easier to slice when cold.
  4. To make the sauce you must first create a classic mayonnaise by mixing the egg yolk, mustard and a dash of vinegar together.
  5. Continue by adding the oil, whisking thoroughly until the sauce emulsifies.
  6. All the other ingredients must then be mixed together with a hand blender until you achieve a smooth paste.
  7. A couple of tablespoons of water might be needed to achieve the right consistency.
  8. Now combine the two sauces together and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Usually the veal is sliced very finely, but in this case I prefer to cut nice rectangles for more texture.
  10. Serve with abundance of sauce and a well-seasoned lamb’s lettuce.

Michel Roux Jr

Michel Roux Jr’s wines to drink

Michel Chapoutier, Côtes-du-Rhône Belleruche Blanc: This is a young, fresh and well-balanced wine that blends Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Bourboulenc grapes. An astringent white wine with green apple and citrus aromas that pair perfectly with Mediterranean flavours.
RRP: £6.56 from Majestic Wines

Domaine Hubert Lamy, Chassagne-Montrachet, Le Concis du Champs: The creamy texture of this wine resembles the creaminess of the veal sauce. Whilst the perfect acidity holds its own with the capers and anchovies.
RRP: £42.50 from Berry Bros and Rudd

More about the wine

This is a personal favourite of mine; affordable, young, fresh and well-balanced Côte du Rhône Belleruche Blanc from Michel Chapoutier.

The blending of Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Bourboulenc exude fantastic green apple and citrus aromas that counterbalance the richness of the Tonnato sauce. This astringent white wine combines perfectly with typical Mediterranean flavours.

To perfectly complement the creaminess of the veal sauce, the velvety texture of the Chassagne-Montrachet, Le Concis du Champs, Domaine Hubert Lamy, 2011 is sublime.

Full of oaky and fruity notes, the maturity and acidity of this wine will extend and strengthen the salinity of the Tonnato sauce. Delicate, fresh and balanced between lightly grilled and spicy notes this wine makes any occasion special.

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