First off, a huge thanks to Houston-based wine writer, blogger, and journalist Sandra Crittenden for sharing the above photo of vitello Tonnato for our Facebook photo album, “The Largest Collection of Vitello Tonnato Photos Ever.”
If you have an image that you’d like to share with us, please email it to our blog master by clicking here. We’d love to include it!
For our next VT post, we’re planning to share notes on the origins of this iconic dish and its earliest incarnations.
But for today’s post, we wanted to share a couple of favorite recipes.
After spending the better part of an afternoon searching the internets for a solid English-language recipe, we have to concede that the pickings were definitely slim. There’s a lot of interest in the dish out there but the recipes tend for the most part to shift away from the classic. Our biggest issue with some of the recipes we read was how they overcook the meat and don’t slice it thinly enough. That’s not to say that these versions don’t taste good. We’re sure they do. But they don’t represent the grand tradition of VT or how it is prepared in its spiritual homeland, Piedmont (where we grow and make our wines).
In our view, the best English-language recipe that we could find was this one by New York Times veteran food writer Amanda Hesser. VT is actually pretty easy to make (as long as you time the meat correctly). And Amanda really nails it with her recipe.
The best recipe we found is — no surprise here — Italian: We really love this version by the popular food blog Giallo Zafferano. It includes photos of each step. So even if you don’t read Italian, you can get a sense of how to make the dish. The author also makes two EXTREMELY important points about the successful execution of VT.
- The veal should never be overcooked or stringy. This is a key element to making the dish correctly.
- Be sure to use a cooking thermometer to monitor the temperature of the center of the veal. Although some chefs brown the meat through, the best examples of vitello tonnato, in our humble opinion, are always medium rare, with plenty of pink in the middle and a little brown around the edges.
Stay tuned for our ongoing VT coverage!