Mixed boiled meats – bollito misto

Mixed boiled meats are a winter staple in  Northern Italy and  Emilia Romagna though the tradition is spreading all over the peninsula and is even becoming a plate for gourmands. In reality it’s a typical Italian family dish usually served on Sunday for lunch after a plate of home made tagliatelle in broth.

Mixed boiled meats include different beef cuts like beef clod, brisket etc. We in our family usually use one cut of beef, the beef tongue, a hen and when we really want to exaggerate a cotechino [it’s the one on the right side of the pic].

Bollito misto is usually accompanied by different sauces like salsa verde, salsa rossa, mostarda, cren a sauce made with horseradish, and in my region of Veneto, pearà a bread sauce. You don’t have to make them all,  two are sufficient. Typically we make pearà and we serve it together with salsa verde. Common side dishes are boiled potatoes, spinach cooked in butter or sweet and sour small onions.

The leftovers can be used  the day after in meatballs (polpette). Of course you can use the broth with many recipes too.


1-1/2 lbs shoulder clod
1/2 beef tongue
1 hen
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 celery stalks
Salt to taste


1. In a very big pot put the vegetables, a peeled onion, peeled carrot and celery, and enough water to eventually cover the meats abundantly.
2. Bring the water to a boil and add the meats and salt.
3. Boil the meats covered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until done.
4. Check the meats occasionally to see if they are cooked since some pieces may cook before the others. If something cooks faster just remove it when it is done and continue cooking the others.
5. When all the meat is ready remove from broth, slice and serve.

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