Il Bollito

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Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

This is the base for many dishes. The boiled meat can be served with various sauces and marmalades, or turned into other dishes. The brodo (broth) can be used in a soup or is delicious to simply drink from a cup (brodo in tazza). This one is a simple brodo. You can add anything you like, such as a bay leaf, potato, fresh thyme, a whole tomato, depending on how you will be serving it. The meat needs a long time to cook and soften and you can make it in a pressure cooker if you prefer.


  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) fairly lean beef, in one or two pieces
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) water
  • about 6 peppercorns
  • about 2 teaspoons salt


Rinse the meat and vegetables, then put in a pot. Cover with the water and add the peppercorns and salt. Bring to the boil. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface, lower the heat and put the lid on. Simmer for 2½-3 hours, until the meat is very tender when poked with a fork. Add extra water as it reduces. When it is ready, remove the meat to a board and strain the broth.