One of the things that got me started in the Food Blogging biz is the fact that, four years ago, we started buying a grass-fed half cow from a farmer in Vermont, filling our chest freezer up to the brim each November. What to do with each of the cuts of meat became a very fun challenge, an endless-possibilities-type of exploration. Mastering the Art of French Cooking really is the Bible when you are talking cuts of meat. I documented my first year of cooking the cow on one of my earliest blog posts, The Drunken Half Cow.
We are cleaning out the freezer waiting for our shipment this year, and I found that all I had left were two steaks and a Beef Brisket. I decided to make this Rustic Italian type of dinner that Giada De Laurentiis made called Bollito Misto, which is made from cooking a beef brisket low and slow, adding some rustic vegetables for the last hour. It is like a deconstructed beef stew, a purist’s meat and potatoes. I really love any rustic type of preparation with lots of flavor, and that is exactly what this is.
I think Giada told some story about her whole extended Italian family gathering around this meal for Sunday night dinner -I served it for a weekend family dinner with my husband and kids. It was great to have it simmering on the stove while we had family time. The platter of meat and veggies may not be considered by some to be the most appetizing picture in the world, but the wow factor for this meal can be found in those 3 red bowls in the lower half of the picture.
She lists these two sauces at the bottom of the recipe, and you might even be tempted to skip them if you were hurrying to get the meal on. Oh my friend, don’t skip these two beauties.
The first sauce she calls Gorgonzola Sauce, which is an official way of saying you mixed together mayo, Gorgonzola blue cheese and dijion mustard with a little salt and pepper.
The second sauce she names Spicy Salsa Verde, and I left out the red pepper flakes so it was just Salsa Verde in our house. But just like a Gremolata, which is usually made from parsley, garlic, lemon peel and olive oil, this yummy herb sauce cuts the fat of the beef brisket with the fresh flavor of herbs and garlic and olive oil. The capers and the vinegar added that acidic tang that the lemon would, and the briney bite went so well with the Gorgonzola Sauce and tender beef.
The last sauce is just a reduction of the braising liquid and is full of flavor. Unfortunately, full disclosure, my kids did not love the sauces, which really made the meal if you ask me. A little ranch and a little mustard for my mustard loving son and they ate enough dinner for dessert. But you may want to make this meal for grown ups, like the Sunday night dinner of Giada’s lore.
On the plus side, that gave me extra sauce for the week, and adding a little lemon juice and buttermilk to the Gorgonzola Sauce made the best homemade blue cheese dressing ever. And all week I was eating something – a sandwhich, tortellini – and I was like, what would make this taste better? I know, some garlic-parsley-caper sauce. Yes, Salsa Verde makes EVERYTHING taste delicious.
I can’t wait to get another Beef Brisket from our farmer and make this again. And stay tuned…we are also getting a pig raised by my husband’s cousin. The smoker is ready and waiting…
Find Giada’s recipe here. Buon Appetito!