Flaming vitello tonnato

The classic vitello tonnato in Smokey style

If you prefer to fill your brunch table with something a little lighter this is absolutely the dish for you. Smoking the veal and grilling the tuna gives this smokey-take on a classic vitello tonnato a nice bbq touch, while still keeping it fresh and light. The perfect dish for going back for seconds, or thirds for that matter.

The ingredients:

(serves 8)
Anjovy mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 12 anchovy filets
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 fl oz (30 ml) water
  • 3 tbsp capers, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vitello tonnato
  • 1 veal silverside about 35 oz (1 kg)
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 8 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, copped
  • 2 tbsp steak pepper (very coarsely ground black pepper)
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 5 spring onions
  • 5 small carrots
  • 18 oz (500 g) tuna filet, in 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch strip
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) anchovy mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp capers
  • handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • BBQ with cover for indirect and direct grilling
  • Cast iron grill grate
  • Beech, oak, or hickory wood chunks for smoking (blocks of 2 x 2 inch)
  • Brush
  • Core thermometer

How to make:

Duration: prep 2 hours

Cooking about: 10 minutes


In a food processor, mix the garlic, anchovy, lemon juice and zest and blend to a smooth paste. Add a little water to get the right consistency. Stir in the capers and season with salt and pepper.


Prepare a BBQ for indirect grilling and heat until 130 °C (266 °F). Place the wood chunks in the hot coals.


Brush for the vitello tonnato  the veal with the yellow mustard. Mix the thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the meat. Place the veal on the BBQ and cover. Smoke for 1-1½ hours, until the core temperature reaches 52 °C (126 °F). Let cool.


Convert your BBQ to direct grilling with the cast iron grill grate and stoke to 250°C (482 °F). Grill the spring onions and carrots on all sides until roasted and soft, then cut into half inch pieces. Sprinkle the tuna with salt and pepper, and grill hot and fast on all sides so that the edge is cooked and the inside is still raw. With a sharp knife, thinly slice the veal and arrange on a serving dish. Cut the tuna into slices slightly less than an inch thick and divide over the meat. Add the carrots and spring onions, then ladle over the anchovy mayo and finish with the capers and parsley. Season your vitello tonnato with coarse sea salt and a good twist of black pepper.

Items used for this recipe

GrillEye Max
GrillEye Max
Smokey Goodness Oak chunks
Smokey Goodness
Oak chunks
The Bastard Cast Iron Grid
The Bastard
Cast Iron Grid
Smokey premium charcoal
Smokey's Premium
Blend Charcoal
Tamahagane Chef's knife 150mm
Chef's knife
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