This is one of those dishes that Europeans adore and Americans think is boring. Americans have little tradition or experience with fine boiled foods, while dishes such as the French pot au feu, Spanish cocido madrileno, and Italian bollito misto are cornerstones of Mediterranean cuisine. When prepared with care and good ingredients these uncomplicated foods are superb. While the cooking itself is simple in technique, the dish does not come cheap; the brisket should be cooked in beef stock rather than water to guarantee that the finished broth, meats, and vegetables are truly tasty. If you are willing to sacrifice about 3 quarts of your best homemade beef stock to this dish, you will have a spectacular winter dinner for six or many nights of great leftovers, soup, and sandwiches for two.
Why five sauces? We found that these are the “sex appeal” factor that sells the bollito to those who might not ordinarily order plain boiled beef. People get a separate plate with five little ramekins of assorted sauces and they can play mix and match: Beef with mustard or horseradish, chicken with salsa verde or rossa, vegetables with aioli or salsa verde, sausage with mustard or salsa rossa. Of course, you are not obliged to make all five sauces, although most of them keep quite well and can be used again for other dishes.