Today’s dish is one of my favourite ways to eat beef. It is a very common dish throughout the North of Italy, but it is especially popular in Piedmont and Lombardy (this is why I am tagging this recipe under both regions for my series on Regional Italian dishes). There are many variations of this dish that is otherwise very straighforward to make. Today I will share with you my family’s version, which is very easy. What I love the most about Bollito is that, besides being delicious, it is also very cheap (as it is made with cheaper cuts of beef) and that you can even use the cooking liquid as broth for other dishes! It will make your risotto taste so much better than any store bought stock! Try it for Risotto alla Milanese, and you will know what I mean! This time I will show you how to make a simple beef bollito (boiled beef) with vegetables, but I am planning on showing you how to make the famous Bollito misto (made with different kinds and cuts of meat) too in the future. This is the perfect dish to use your Salsa verde with! Enjoy!
1 kg – 2.2 lbs. beef in 1 single piece (blade, chuck or brisket)
1 carrot, peeled
1 onion, peeled
2 potatoes, peeled
2 bay leaves
8-10 pepper corns
1 tbsp parlsey, not chopped
1 tbsp salt
Tie the piece of meat with some kitchen string and keep it aside. This step is not essential, but it keeps the meat in shape while cooking and makes for a better final presentation.
Take the peeled onion and insert the cloves into it (this will make it easier to discard them later on).
Fill a big pot with water. Add the bay leaves, pepper corns, salt and parsley and put it on the fire. Bring to a boil. When it is boiling add the meat, carrots and onion. put the fire to low and let is simmer, very gently, until the meat is cooked through. The cooking time varies, depending on the thickness of the meat, but it will take approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. This dish has to be cooked slowly and on a very low flame, so that the meat remains tender.
Half way through the cooking, add the potatoes.
When the meat is ready, remove it (and the vegetables) with a slotted spoon and let it cool down. NOTE: do not discard the cooking liquid as it makes a good broth for risotto or soups. It can also be frozen and used later on.
When the meat is cool, slice it. It can be eaten warm or cold, but I like it more at room temperature. Serve it with the vegetables and some Salsa Verde. It can also be served with mayo or olive oil and lemon juce.