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Bollito misto

Bollito misto
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

OK, it's hardly bollito misto weather. But we can pretend. At least once every winter, I need to make the "mixed boiled meats" of northern Italy, one of the easiest and most festive meals I know. By rights, snow should ... Read more

Total time: 3 hours | Serves 10 to 12

Bollito misto

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 10 to 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 pounds beef short ribs
  • 3 pounds brisket
  • 1 oxtail (optional)
  • 1 calf's foot, split
  • 1 calf or veal tongue
  • 1 small chicken (2½ to 3 pounds)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 to 2½ pounds cotechino sausage or other fatty pork sausage, pricked with a pin or fine knife
  • Bagnèt verd, for serving (recipe below)
  • Hazelnut and honey sauce, for serving (recipe below)
  • Mostarda, for serving

Step 1In a very large pot, combine the onions, celery, carrots, rosemary, cloves, peppercorns, short ribs, brisket, oxtail, calf's foot and tongue, chicken and garlic. Add enough water to cover all of the meats and vegetables, and bring to a boil. After 10 to 15 minutes, reduce the heat and continue to simmer to gently cook the meats.

Step 2While the meats are stewing in the large pot, in a smaller pot cover the sausage with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sausage is firm and cooked through, about 1 hour. Drain and hold in a warm place.

Step 3Continue to cook the meats in the large pot until each are cooked through, 1 to 21/2 hours, then remove to a platter and hold in a warm place. The chicken will be done when the meat is firm, the joints move easily and a thermometer inserted into the meat between the breast and thigh reaches 165 degrees, about an hour. The short ribs, brisket and oxtail will be done when a knife pierces easily, about 2 hours. The tongue will also be done when a knife pierces easily, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the tongue; as soon as the tongue is done, remove and peel the outer layer of skin while the tongue is hot (the skin will be harder to peel as the tongue cools).

Step 4Strain the vegetables and flavorings from the broth, and bring the broth to a simmer to reduce it slightly, 20 to 30 minutes. While the broth is reducing, prepare the sauces.

Step 5When the broth is almost ready, carve the meats and arrange on the platter. Spoon a little broth over the meats to moisten, and serve with the bagnèt verd and, if you like, the hazelnut and honey sauce and a jar of mostarda.

Bagnèt verd

  • A large handful of Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 whole salt-packed anchovies, filleted, or 6 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 10 salt-cured capers, soaked in water and drained
  • 1/2 stalk celery
  • About 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/2 small dried hot red chile, soaked until soft, and finely diced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more if desired, preferably from Liguria

Step 1Finely chop together the parsley, garlic, anchovies, capers, celery, onion and chile. Combine in a bowl and add the salt, vinegar and oil, stirring together. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick sauce. Adjust the texture, consistency and flavorings as desired. This makes about half a cup of bagnèt verd.

Hazelnut and honey sauce

  • 1 cup wildflower honey, preferably unfiltered and natural
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • A small spoon of broth, optional, to thin the sauce if needed

Step 1In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard and hazelnuts. If the honey is dense and thick, thin the sauce with a tablespoon or so of broth, adding just a tiny amount at a time. The sauce should have a creamy consistency. This makes a generous cup of sauce.

Note: Adapted from Ristorante Moderno. The short ribs, brisket, oxtail, calf's foot and tongue are available at most well-stocked meat counters; check with your butcher for availability or ordering. The cotechino sausage is available at select Italian import markets and delis.


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