Region: Italy, Piedmont
Difficulty: Easy but long cooking time
Bollito misto (mixed boil) is the famous stew of Piedmont (especially, and where it is also known as gran bui), Lombardy, and Emilia. It consists of mixed meats that are boiled and served with a green sauce based on parsley, a red sauce based on tomato or mostarda di Cremona, a jarred sweet and sour fruit relish, such as the Dondi brand or the Sperlari brand. You can find them at Amazon.com’s grocery section or in good Italian markets or gourmet stores. Traditionally, in the Piedmont bollito misto consists of beef, veal and/or veal tongue, chicken, a cotechino sausage (available from Molinari Brothers in San Francisco, molinarisalame.com) and half a calf’s head.
Bollito misto is a special preparation and most recipes, as well as the way they do it in restaurants, call for yields that could feed three times the amount of people served by my recipe. Restaurants will also make it with a good variety of vegetables on the side too. To make it special, arrange all the boiled meats with some care on a large serving platter after they are cooked. The dish traditionally has a calf’s head in it, but that will have to be specially ordered if you decide to use one.[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Preparation Time: 5 hours
2 celery stalks, cut up
1 large onion, studded with 3 cloves
1 large, thick carrot, peeled and cut up
3 quarts water
1 veal tongue
2 pounds beef brisket in one piece
1 Cornish game hen, rinsed
½ beef foot
1 pig’s foot
One 6-inch square slice of fresh pork rind (skin)
½ calf’s head (optional)
1 cotechino sausage or 6 mild Italian sausages, pricked all over with corn cob holders or the tip of a skewer
Dijon mustard (optional)
Mostarda di Cremona (optional)
For the green sauce (mix the following together)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
1. In a large 16- to 20-quart stock pot, put the celery, onion, and carrot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil.
2. Add the veal tongue and beef brisket and return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, covered. Remove the tongue, cool, and with a paring knife peel the outer layer of skin off. Trim all the fat and gristle from the tongue and return to the pot.
3. Add the chicken, beef foot, pig’s feet, pork rind, calf’s head (if using), and cotechino sausage. Return to as boil, cover, and continue cooking over low heat until the remaining meats are tender, about 3 ½ hours. You can serve it now or leave it in the broth on a warm heat to serve later. When it is time to serve remove each of the meats and slice, arranging them all attractively on a serving platter. Ladle some broth over everything and serve with Dijon mustard, mostarda di Cremona, or the green sauce above.