Serves 6 to 8
I love boiled beef. In the northern regions of Italy, it is the basis of a common dish called bollito misto, in which there is capon, tongue, veal head, cotechino (a great pork head sausage), and beef. Making a bollito misto is a complicated procedure, but making this delicious -boiled–beef salad is not. You boil the beef, which, in the process, gives you a great pot of stock as well. The poaching liquid for the beef can be strained and served as a soup with some pastina and grated Grana Padano cheese.
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks or thick slices
- 1 onion, cut into large chunks
- 3 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (reserve stems)
- 2-pound piece boneless beef top chuck
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup halved cornichons
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a large soup pot, combine 8 quarts cold water, the carrots, onion, celery, reserved parsley stems, and beef.
Bring to a simmer, and simmer until the beef is very tender, about 1½ hours. Let cool, and pull out the beef and carrots (strain the stock for another use).
Chop the carrots, and put in a serving bowl. Dice the beef, add it to the bowl, and season all with ½ teaspoon of the salt.
Add the cornichons and red onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk in the olive oil to make a smooth, creamy dressing. Drizzle the dressing over the beef salad, and add the parsley leaves.
Toss well and serve.