Mixed Boiled Meats

Bollito Misto Emiliano

Bollito misto is a northern Italian dish that evolved because people liked to eat large quantities of meat but lacked an oven for roasting. The dish varies slightly from region to region.


  • 750 g/ lb beef brisket
  • 500 g/1 lb 2 oz veal silverside
  • 1 capon
  • 6 pieces marrow bone, about 7.5 cm/3 in each
  • 1 cotechino
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 large onion studded with 5 cloves
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 1 leek, washed thoroughly
  • 6 carrots
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt


  • 100 g/ oz Parma ham, minced
  • giblets and liver of the capon, cooked in a little butter and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped and cooked in a little butter
  • 100 g/ oz fresh breadcrumbs, soaked in milk and squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper


Bring 6 litres/9 pt of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Season with salt and peppercorns. Lower the heat to a simmer and put in the bouquet garni, all the vegetables, and the beef. It will take approximately hours to cook. After 45 minutes, add the veal and the capon. Cook the cotechino separately, punctured with a fork and wrapped in muslin, for 2 hours. 45 minutes before the beef is ready, add the marrow bones wrapped in muslin. Check during cooking, the times are only approximate for the beef, veal and capon; more or less time may be needed.

The capon can also be deboned and stuffed. Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing thoroughly. Stuff the deboned capon with the mixture and sew the bird up with strong white thread. Wrap in muslin. Add to the bollito with the veal as before.

Carve the bollito at table and serve with any of the following:

Crostini fried in olive oil, spread with English mustard and topped with bone marrow Mostarda di Cremona Mostarda di Venezia (Venezia mustard) Salsa verde (green sauce) Salsa di rafano (horseradish sauce) Salsa di pomodoro e prosciutto di Parma (cooked tomato and Parma ham sauce) Salsa rustica (raw tomato sauce)

Put a choice of 3 or 4 of these condiments on the table.