Over the last few days I had an explicable craving for Italian Bollito Misto – boiled mixed meats. It may sound quite disgusting, but I assure you, it’s delicious. Different cuts of different kinds of meat are left to simmer slowly with veggies, herbs and spices for a few hours. This slow process produces the tenderest, juiciest boiled meats of your choice and a delicious hearty stock. This stock would traditionally be used for Cappelletti in Brodo, but you might make a lovely Pho as well, if you’re so inclined.
So. Today I made my Bollito Misto. I had loads of time on my hands, seeing that I’m off work for the Easter holiday. I have eaten Bollito countless times over the years, but I never made it at home, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I found at great recipe on Pinterest and proceeded to go shopping for the cuts of meat I would need. I had a bit of difficulty sourcing the right cuts, so I improvised and bought a bit of both chicken, beef and pork. I had a classic Danish sausage (medisterpølse) in the freezer and thawed that to add as well. The important thing is not to choose cuts that are too lean.
A traditional Bollito Misto consists of 7 different kinds of meat, at least 5 different contorni (sides) and a few sauces (salse), preferably Bagnetto Verde and some mostarda. I settled for 4 different kinds of meat (brisket, pork ribs, sausage and thighs of chicken). I served my Bollito with baked sweet potato fries, veggie puree, bagnetto verde and a delicious mostarda I made with bell pepper, onion and Balsamico. It took me a few hours to cook, but most of it took care of itself, though it is important to skim impurities off the top of the stock, so it doesn’t become bitter.
I now have a few litres of delicious stock in the freezer, chicken meat in the fridge (I might make a chicken salad with green apples tomorrow), and a bit a boiled meat leftovers as well.
The remains of the Bagnetto Verde and mostarda will keep well in the fridge too – I think they will be great with a selection of cheeses too.
All in all, it was worth the labour and I loved sitting down to a hearty meal with BF. The Italian recipe I used as a starting point for my Bollito, can be found here, the recipe for the bagnetto verde here and the recipe for the mostarda can be found here.
All the abovementioned recipes are in Italian, but here is my humble modified version of Bollito Misto in English:
Recipe for Italian Bollito misto:
You’re going to need approximately 1 kg of meat for every 3 litres of water. I used a little extra meat (and veggies) in an attempt to produce a heartier and stronger broth.
This recipe will produce Bollito Misto for 4 persons.
- 2 thighs of chicken (not drumsticks)
- 600 g of brisket
- 200 g of pork ribs
- 200 g of sausage
- a few beef bones for the stock
Veggies, herbs and spices:
- 2 peeled carrots
- 1 onion, studded with 3 cloves
- 2 peeled potatoes
- 1 peeled parsnip
- 2 celery sticks with tops
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- a handful of parsley
- salt to taste
Wash and prepare all the veggies and herbs. Dump them in a tall pot with 3 litres of cold water and bring to a boil. Carefully lower all the meat into the boiling water, add salt (approximately one teaspoon) and wait for the water to boil again.
Now turn down the heat and bring to a gentle simmer – the bollito misto should not be boiling violently as the meat may become tough and dry.
As the bollito is simmering, you want to skim the “foam” off the surface with a slotted spoon from time to time. This “foam” is simply impurities rising to the top, and you don´t want these to contaminate your bollito and broth.
Let everything simmer gently for 3-4 hours and leave the meat in the broth to cool off a bit before serving. You might serve it with mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach and a few sauces.
Feel free to let me know if you make the Bollito, I’d love to hear your opinion. Enjoy =)