Tag Archives: beef

Il Gran Bollito Misto (Mixed Boiled Meats)

We usually think of boiled meat as a by-product of making broth, a humble if comforting dish for parsimonious souls. But in northern Italy, particularly in the Piemonte and Emilia-Romagna, they’ve transformed boiled meats into a regal spread. Traditionally, a true Gran Bollito Misto includes seven different cuts (tagli) of beef or veal, seven ‘supporting’ […]

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Quick Note: Picchiapò

We’re an old fashioned household in many ways. In the cooler months, making broth is a Sunday afternoon ritual in our house. And from broth comes boiled meat, an old fashioned treat that most people these days have never tasted. If it sounds to you like hospital food, think again. Italian cookery has come up with […]

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Polpettone in umido con funghi (Meatloaf in Tomato and Mushroom Sauce)

As the temperatures dip, I find myself seeking out comfort foods. And what says ‘comfort’ more than a good meatloaf? And, yes, meatloafs do exist in Italian cookery, where they’re called ‘polpettoni‘ or big meatballs. Makes sense, doesn’t it? We’ve already seen Angelina’s southern Italian style meatloaf, stuffed with mozzarella and baked in the oven […]

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Bastille Day Special: Steak au poivre (Peppercorn Steak)

In cooking as in life, simpler is oftentimes better. French cooking may have a reputation for complication, but, in reality, many classic homestyle dishes from “over the Alps” (d’oltralpe, as the Italians refer to things French) are quite simple. To me, there is nothing that quite captures the spirit of simple, unpretensious home cooking in the […]

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Peposo (Peppery Tuscan Beef Stew)

This Tuscan beef stew has a long history. The story goes that it was invented by the furnace workers (fornaciai) who baked the terracotta tiles for the Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo in Florence. They mixed roughly cut up beef shank, salt, lots of black pepper and red wine—Chianti, of course—in terracotta pots and let it all […]

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Carpaccio

Carpaccio is one of the most famous of Italian antipasti but the version most people are familiar with—thin beef slices macerated in olive oil and lemon, adorned with arugula and shavings of Parmesan cheese— is actually more precisely carne cruda all’Albese, a Piedmontese dish. The true carpaccio was invented by Venetian hotelier Giuseppe Cipiani, of Harry’s […]

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Spiedini e arrosticini (Italian Kabobs)

Summer may be drawing to a close here in the Northern Hemisphere, but there’s still time to get in some more grilling. In fact, grilling is a lot more pleasant in the cooler temperatures of the late summer and early fall than at the height of the summer—standing over a hot grill during those ‘dog […]

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Braciole alla napoletana (Neapolitan Beef Rolls)

Braciole—beef slices rolled up with a savory garlic, parsley and cheese filling—is one of those dishes common to both Italian-American and ‘real’  Italian cooking—of the Neapolitan variety. Italian-Americans will often add them to the pot when making “Sunday sauce”, but they are equally good on their own, simmered in tomato sauce. Unlike the long simmering […]

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Hamburger alla panna (Hamburger with Cream Sauce)

Not everyone associates hamburgers with Italian cooking, but Italians have a long tradition of using ground beef in imaginative ways, for meatballs (polpette) and meatloaf (polpettone), as well as as a basis for the classic ragù alla bolognese. So it should really come as no surprise that they’ve also applied their culinary creativity those patties […]

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Spezzatino di manzo con la polenta (Beef Stew with Polenta)

It’s hard to believe, but in all the years that I’ve been writing this blog, somehow I’ve managed to avoid writing a post about Italian beef stew. I suppose that’s a tribute to the vast variety of Italian cooking or perhaps a reflection of the somewhat secondary role that beef plays in Italian cuisine. Or […]

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Pasta al forno (Baked Pasta)

Is there anything more comforting than baked pasta?  If there is, I haven’t come across it yet. And while some baked pasta dishes in the Italian repertoire—especially the two ‘star’ lasagne dishes, the South’s lasagna di carnevale and the North’s lasagne alla bolognese—are elaborate affairs, there are everyday baked pastas that don’t require days in […]

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Sugo di carne (Meat Sauce)

When you mention Italian meat sauces, most people will immediately think of those monuments of Italian cooking, the ragù alla napoletana and the ragù alla bolognese, sauces that require hours of cooking and fairly elaborate preparation. These time-consuming ragù are, quite rightly, reserved for special occasions. Ragù alla napoletana is often called ‘Sunday sauce’ among Italian-American […]

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Viennese Goulash

For some reason, I must be feeling nostalgic for my Vienna days as I keep coming back to the dishes I made during those years. Perhaps it’s the cold weather that calls out for the hearty cooking of Mitteleuropa. In any event, here’s another favorite from that time and place: Viennese Goulasch. Goulash is a […]

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Stracotto alla fiorentina (Florentine-Style Beef Stew)

Some readers may remember last winter’s post on brasato al vino rosso, the wonderful red wine pot roast from northern Italy, in particular Lombardia and Piemonte—where it is often made with Barolo, the local big red, and called brasato al Barolo. Well, here is another typical pot roast, this time from central Italy: Florentine-style ‘stracotto’, […]

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Carbonnade à la flamande (Belgian Beef Braised in Beer)

Today is Columbus Day so, of course, I decided I would make a Belgian meal… One of my favorite Belgian dishes is carbonnade, a wonderfully deep-flavored dish of beef braised in onions and beer. It is simple but satisfying, just the kind of cooking and eating that I like best, especially as the temperatures cool. […]

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Carne alla pizzaiola (“Pizza-Maker’s” Beef)

One of the pillars of everyday Neapolitan cuisine, this simple dish is a great solution for those times when you feel like a bit of solid sustenance but don’t feel much like cooking something elaborate. A bit like slapping a piece of meat on the grill only a bit tastier. The name of the dish […]

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Bistecca alla fiorentina (Steak Florentine)

Bistecca alla fiorentina (Steak Florentine)

One does not always associate steak with Italian cooking, but one of the glories of Tuscan cuisine is, indeed, a simply prepared Porterhouse steak, grilled rare, over a wood fire: bistecca alla fiorentina, or literally Steak Florentine. The dish is so typical that if you ask for a fiorentina in a restaurant, without saying more, this […]

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Straccetti di manzo con la rughetta (Beef ‘Rags’ with Arugula)

One of the most iconic dishes of Roman cookery, stracetti con la rughetta, or ‘little rags’ with arugula, is also one of the simplest of all to prepare. The technique is quite close to an Asian stir-fry and, like a stir-fry, it takes literally only seconds to prepare. Ingredients Per serving: 200g (7 oz) thinly […]

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