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

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.

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

A little time under the broiler makes the magic happen.

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

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.

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

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

Ditto for the capers.


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