Beef Carpaccio Tonnato

13 Apr

(serves 6)
This is a variation of Beef Carpaccio. It lets you enjoy carpaccio at home even if you can’t cut beef nearly as thinly as restaurants can using a commercial slicer. Instead of the normal carpaccio topping of vinaigrette, arugula and parmigiano, you substitute in the tuna mayonnaise of a Vitello Tonnato. Add in a slight searing of the beef and the result is a delightful fusion of two famous Italian starters.

Main Ingredients

  1. Beef Tenderloin (500g)
  2. Canned Tuna in oil (200g)
  3. Anchovy in oil (25g)
  4. Eggs (2)
  5. Mayonnaise (5T)
  6. Olive Oil (2T)
  7. Mustard (or wasabi)
  8. Balsamic Vinegar
  9. Rosemary
  10. Thyme


  1. Hard boil two eggs ahead of time. (You won’t be needing the egg whites)
  2. Mix 0.5t of salt, 1t of black pepper, 1T of rosemary and 1T of thyme together and sprinkle this evenly onto a cutting board. Roll your fillet over the herb mixture to form a coating on the outside (excluding the ends).
  3. Preheat a frying pan with about 3T of vegetable oil and fry the curved portions of the tenderloin for six minutes. A pair of clamps would be helpful here. To leave a symmetrical rare core in the centre and sear the herbs into a crust, cook the fillet on four different sides for 90 seconds at a time, instead of rolling it about. When done, set the meat aside to cool.
  4. Now for the tonnato sauce. For the tuna, use the type that comes in oil to minimize water. Blend the tuna (including the oil) with the anchovy, the egg yolks, 5T mayonnaise, 2T olive oil, 1t  white pepper and 1t of (seedless) mustard. All the components are soft and you probably require only 5-10 seconds on high on the blender. Keep this covered and refrigerated if you are not using it immediately.
  5. Using a shaving motion, slice the beef as thinly as you can and arrange the discs of meat onto plates. I find that using a mildly serrated knife is the easiest. Since there is a cooked crust, it should be much easier than slicing a bone fide carpaccio.
  6. Spoon the tonnato sauce onto the beef, leaving the edges of the meat visible. Decorate each serving with a spot of balsamic vinegar. You first dip the vinegar into a central spot using a teaspoon and then using something small like the back of a toothpick stir it into a small amount of the sauce. Pull the darkened portion out into the spiral sun pattern as shown, or form any other design you please.


  • If you replace the pan fried beef fillet with braised veal loin or top round that has been chilled, you’ll get the real Vitello Tonatto, so this is actually a bonus two-in-one recipe. You can use the braising method described in this Braised Pork Ribs Recipe if you are unfamiliar with braising meat.
  • Traditionally you should serve vitello tonnato with capers (I don’t particularly care for them so I tend to leave them out). If you have some handy, you can plop them on as part of the decoration.
  • If you have chopped Italian parsley/coriander, which you can normally only buy fresh, you can use them instead of the thyme.
  • I strongly recommend using the green Japanese mustard called wasabi. It goes much better with this dish than French or English mustard.
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Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Appetizers, Italian, Recipe, Red Meat


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