Boiled beef with salsa verde and mayonnaise

Serves 6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

The inspiration for this lovely, light autumnal dish came during a delicious lunch at the Aia della Colonna farm in Tuscany. It's a great alternative to a heavily sauced braise or stew. This is just the kind of dish for which it would be suitable to use the less common cuts that I often go on about.

Meat that is a bit tough for a steak is ideal for a slow-cooked bollito. In Italy, the example Jason tasted was made from the local Maremman cows, which are more or less wild and have very dark meat. You can use a singular cut of beef, or a mixture of cuts, which will add an interesting variation of textures to the dish. The piquant salsa verde and creamy mayonnaise are perfect matches.

1kg beef (any combination of shoulder,brisket with some rib attached, or perhaps silverside and even tongue)
1 onion, peeled
1 medium carrot
1 celery stalk
1 ripe tomato
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
Handful of basil leaves
Sea salt
Pinch of black peppercorns
For the mayonnaise (makes 600ml)
3 large egg yolks
2tbsp lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
600ml olive oil
1tsp Dijon mustard

For the salsa verde

1 garlic clove, peeled
1 salted anchovy, finely chopped
1tsp brine-cured capers
Large bunch of flat-leaved parsley, finely chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
4tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan with about 3 litres of water or enough to generously cover the meats. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 3 hours, skimming off the scum as it rises to the top from time to time.

While the beef is cooking, in the meantime make the salsa verde and mayonnaise. To make the salsa verde, pound the garlic, anchovy and capers, using a pestle and mortar. Stir in the parsley, chopped egg and olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.

To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, drop by drop to begin with, then in a steady stream, while whisking continuously. Add only so much oil as can be absorbed by the egg mixture at one time. Stir in the mustard, then check the seasoning.

Remove the meat from the pan and strain the cooking liquid through a fine meshed sieve. Peel away the skin from the tongue, carve all the meat into slices and serve with a little of the cooking liquor, salsa verde and mayonnaise.

The excess stock can be used to make a beef broth.

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