Bollito Misto - A recipe for an Italian Feast

This Bollito Misto, mixed boiled meats, recipe is ideal for serving at a large dinner party. It works best when you cook large pieces of meat.

Bollito Misto needs a large stock pot

You are sure to have leftovers.  They make the basis of a beautiful cold collation the next day.

The type of cuts and the quantities of the meat chosen can be varied to suit. For example you may prefer to use a whole chicken or two, perhaps you could add some beef tripe or you may decide to use a shoulder of veal.

Ingredients to serve 8-12

  • 1 kg beef shoulder or brisket
  • 1 Cotechino or Italian boiling sausage
  • 1 Ox tongue
  • 6 chicken marylands
  • 1 kg pickled pork, or 4 pigs trotters
  • 4 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 4 celery stalks (with the leaves), roughly chopped
  • A handful of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled


Prepare the chicken by cutting the drumsticks from the thighs to yield 12 pieces. Rinse the pork to remove some of the salt.

Put the vegetables, herbs and peppercorns and garlic into a large stockpot and bring to the boil. When it is boiling carefully add the beef, the tongue and the pork.

Bring these to a slow simmer. Remove any scum that comes to the top. Don't allow to boil vigorously or the meats will become tough. Meanwhile simmer the cotechino in another pot, it may be too greasy to cook in the same pot.

After 45 minutes add the chicken pieces to the main pot and carefully simmer for another 45 minutes.

Remove the meats and sausage to a carving board and slice across the grain. Arrange the slices on a large platter with the vegetables, keeping the meats warm and moist with a little of the stock. You may need to cover the platter with foil while you carve.

Don't waste the cooking stock from the main pot.  Strain it and you can use it later to make a soup or risotto. It will keep for a few days in the fridge or a few months in the freezer till needed.

This dish can be served with a couple of vegetables in season. Boiled potatoes, spinach or steamed root vegetables are ideal.

It is traditional to serve bollito misto with an generous array of mustards and sauces, especially salsa verde and with mostarda di frutta (pickled fruits).

Wine suggestions for bollito misto

Bollito Misto is a classic Italian dish and you would do well to serve it with a savoury wine. Perhaps a Dolcetto or a Barbera wine, or maybe a good Sangiovese.

The savoury flavours of these wines will complement the various tastes and textures of the food and sauces.

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