Bollito Di Manzo – Italian Boiled Beef with Tomato, Anchovy and Caper Sauce

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I’ve learned eleven really important things over the past few weeks:

  1. Just because this is Kansas does not mean that that it can’t get cold enough outside to freeze my eyelashes together.
  2. Sometimes, snow will stay on the ground for way more than a day in Kansas.
  3. I need winter boots. With a soft, fluffy lining.
  4. I fully and completely understand the term “wind chill”.
  5. The warmest part of my dog is her belly.
  6. My dog squeals like a stuck pig when cold feet contact warm belly.
  7. Braising meat on the stove for a good long time will really warm up my kitchen.
  8. The condensation from all that braising liquid will freeze my patio door shut, and my dog will invariably need to go to the bathroom at that exact moment.
  9. When my dog really needs to go to the bathroom, she will use her cold nose as a weapon to get me up off the couch.
  10. It’s a long, cold walk through the unheated garage to the other backyard door.
  11. I really need to make sure the children are out of earshot before grumpily threatening to sell the family dog on eBay.

If you’ve been dying for a recipe good enough to freeze your patio door closed, look no further! If you haven’t, or if you are one of those extremely annoying people who live someplace where the thermometers don’t even have temperatures below 32°F marked on them, I suggest you stick around anyway. I promise you, it’ll be worth it. This recipe will take care of dinner on the first night, and make a great soup for lunch or dinner the next day.

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You’ll need some beef, beef bones, various vegetables and a broiler.

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A little time under the broiler makes the magic happen.

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Boil for a ridiculously long time and you will be well rewarded. Check out that broth. Yes, it really was as rich and beefy as it looks.

Bollito Di Manzo – Italian Boiled Beef
Adapted from Livia Tistarelli

2 lb beef chuck roast or brisket
2 lb beef soup bones
3 quarts water
1 large onion, Quartered
2 large carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp fresh basil (1 tsp dried)

Place the beef, beef bones, onion, carrots, celery and garlic on a roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet. With oven rack about 6 inches from broiler, broil the beef and vegetables for about 5 minutes per side, flipping once. The meat and vegetables should be nicely browned, but not cooked through. Place the roasted meat and vegetables, and the remaining ingredients in a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered for about 3 hours or until meat is pull-apart tender. Remove the meat and slice thin or chop. Strain remaining the stock through a fine sieve or double layered cheesecloth, I use a cotton cloth. Discard the vegetables and beef bones. Reserve one cup of broth and store the remainder in the refrigerator to make stracciatella soup (Recipe coming soon to a blog post near you).

Printable Recipe

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The boiled beef is traditionally served with various condiments such as salsa verde. But since I’m about as traditional as burgers and fries on Thanksgiving, I decided to do things my way, as usual. Sometimes this works out wonderfully. Sometimes – not so much. Just ask my husband.

If you Really, REALLY feel the need to do things the old fashioned way, this recipe for salsa verde from Whole Foods is really quite good.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, scroll down for my Italian Boiled Beef with Tomato, Anchovy and Caper Sauce recipe. It also has crushed red pepper flakes which are absolutely essential, since they help to defrost the windows. I served this over  Polenta, but you could also serve it with a penne or tagliatelle pasta, if you really want to go there.

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The essentials. Without them the sauce is nothing. Less than nothing. Like, negative even.

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If you really like the salty, fishy taste of anchovies, feel free to use 2 or (gasp!) 3 fillets. Mince ‘em up fine.

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Ditto for the capers.

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If you are feeling especially daring -and you don’t have children that hate them with a passion only a preteen can muster- you might want to add in some black olives.

Italian Boiled Beef with Tomatoes, Anchovies and Capers

2 tbsp olive oil
1 med onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup broth from bollito di manzo
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Boiled beef from bollito di manzo recipe, coarsely chopped

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients, except for the boiled beef. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered until sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the boiled beef and simmer until heated through. Taste for seasoning and serve over polenta or pasta.

 Printable Recipe

13 comments to Bollito Di Manzo – Italian Boiled Beef with Tomato, Anchovy and Caper Sauce

  • I have never seen beef done in this application before and it looks fabulous! Definitely a way to warm up on a cold night. We could use a recipe like that around here (Alberta, Canada)….it’s been -35 for the last few days! Definitely chills you to the bones. But this recipe sounds like the perfect remedy.

  • LMAO over your “lessons learned”, those were hilarious.

    Great looking recipe. I think braised beef is a winter antidote.

  • KANSAS… did I just read KANSAS…

    what part… I am in western Kansas City KS suburbs???

  • Paul

    I think I will be trying this very soon, might help cure the winter blues.

  • Great post as always Karen, and glad you’re back. I was about to send out search and rescue.

    Love love love your lessons learned! I would never EVER doubt you on #4. Being a native I have that same understanding.

    This beef looks WONderful. I love that anchovy and caper sauce. This whole recipe is so different that I have to give it a try.

  • Excellent seller; dog exactly as described. Fast shipper. Would buy from again. A++++++++

  • LOL…I saw this on Tastespotting…I loved your list-of-eleven 🙂 I once threatened our dog that I was going to send her to a farm–I didn’t know my kids were within earshot. Oops. 🙂 This looks so good, and I love that you served it over polenta. Polenta is one of my favorite things, and I’m amazed at how many people have never had it, or worse , don’t like it. Boggles the mind 😉 I may even try anchovies for your recipe–maybe 😉 Thanks!

  • That beef looks so nice and tender and flaky and good!

  • oh, yes…definitely prefer the version with anchovies, capers and black olives! Great recipe.

  • Karen

    The Meal Planner: It’ll definitely warm you up on the inside and the outside 🙂 Though I’m not sure how much good it will do you in Alberta in January!

    Chris: Just make sure you have better windows than I do, or that you don’t need to open them anytime soon!

    My Year on the Grill: Wichita, actually. My husband and I love Kansas City and try to get up there at least a couple of times a year. 🙂

    Paul: Let me know what you think when you do!

    Lea Ann: Lol! Yeah, I’m still here, hopefully more often. I just need to win the lottery so I can quit my day job. ‘Course I’d have to actually start buying lottery tickets or something wouldn’t I…

    Husband Jeff: Oh look, I married a comedian! Good thing he’s kinda cute 😉

    Tiffiny Felix: It’s amazing how the kids are always exactly where you don’t want them do be, just when you’re saying something you don’t want them to hear! If you don’t like the anchovies, you could always add about a teaspoon of Worcestershire to give it some kick .

    Kevin: It is. And it makes a great sandwich too!

    Joan Nova: Thanks! I’ve been known to sprinkle some olives on at the end for my portion 🙂

  • Ali

    Oh, what I would have given to have had this recipe few weeks ago…when blizzard was outside and the only thing keeping me sane whilst walking from uni to public transport station was thought of a hot meal when I get home. In the end I made onion soup 🙂 but this is definitely getting printed out and posted on refrigerator for next cold, cold day :D.

    • Karen

      Ali, I love me some onion soup! I hope it was the gratin kind, with lots of melty cheese. 🙂 I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but we have had more than our fair share of cold, cold days this year. I hope that this dish will be a consolation prize for you when the next one rolls around in your area!

  • Cora

    hey karen, just found you blog, such fun, have been stuck in front of the computer all morning, nothing done, but they will have a great dinner this evening thanks to your boiled beef recipe. looking forward to reading on. will make a change from the traditional way of doing it.