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Idaho Potatoes with "Hoosier-Style" Vitello Tonnata


Vitello tonnato is a classic Italian dish of sliced veal with a mayonnaise-based sauce. For this recipe, chef Greg Hardesty of Recess in Indianapolis puts a Hoosier-touch to it by replacing the veal with pork and adding cayenne and pickled okra. 


For the pork

  • 1 1/2 Pound pork loin
  • 6 Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup salt
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 heard garlic, split in half
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

For the vitello tonnata

  • 8 medium golden Idaho potatoes, halved
  • 1/4 Cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 8 Ounces sashimi grade tuna
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup finely chopped red onions
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup pickled okra, sliced into rings


For the pork

Bring the water and all of the aromatics to a hard boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely. When completely cool, submerge the pork loin into the brine and marinate for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator. When time is up, remove the pork from the brine, rinse, and pat dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Sear in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with the 2 tablespoons of oil until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork and place on a sheet pan lined with a roasting rack. Roast the pork in oven for about 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers medium. Remove from oven and let the pork cool completely. Place the pork in refrigerator and chill completely.

For the vitello tonnata

In a medium pan, cover the Idaho potatoes with water. Add a generous pinch of salt. Bring the water to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just cooked through, about 10 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and allow the potatoes to cool. Dice potatoes into ½-inch cubes. Toss them a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and the vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Sear the tuna on each side for 20 seconds. Remove the tuna from the pan and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile mix the mayonnaise, remaining extra-virgin olive oil, onions, cayenne, vinegar, and 1/2 of the okra together in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper.

Slice the tuna into ¼-inch thick slices. Gently stir the tuna into the mayonnaise mixture; spoon 1/4of the potato mixture onto each of the 4 dinner plates. Slice the pork into 1/8-inch thick slices. Layer the pork on top of the potatoes. Spoon the tuna-mayonnaise equally over each slice of pork. Garnish with remaining okra rings and serve.