Mixed Boiled Meats
After reading the recipie for Bollito misto. Marcella Hazan. The classic Italian cook book. I really want to try this recipie. Beef, tongue,veal,chicken, calf's head. Sounds delicious. Have you tried this recipie ? Or do you have another boiled meat recipie.
I think every culture has their version of a boiled dinner. For me it's usually cocido: chicken, ham hocks, beef marrow bones, chorizo, morcilla, cabbage and chickpeas. The broth is eaten as a soup with macaroni with the vegetables and chickepeas served as a side to the meat. A slight variation that my grandparents preferred was puchero: chicken, ham, chorizo bilbao, maybe some pork belly, cabbage, green beans and chickpeas boiled together and served with a spicy eggplant and plantain sauce.
My wife, she is of Italian heritage, and I had Bolito Misto when we were members of a faculty gourmet group at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. It was less than palatable because it was so bland. All the flavors of the meats must have disappeared down the kitchen sink drain. However, I have not seen the recipe published by Ms. Hazan so I cannot be critical of it. I hope it is properly seasoned. I would exclude the calf's head.
Perhaps the fact that you had it at Indiana State University in Terre Haute was key to why it had no flavor? :)
I have had bolito misto in Bologna and here in the US at certain very good restaurants and found it to be amazing, which it is when done right. The taste comes from the spicing of certain meats (like cotechino) and the "condimeni" served with it: mostarda and salsa verde. I have never had Marcella Hazan's recipe but I have had Mario Batali's and I can say it is wonderful.
You are most likely correct about the venue. Terre Haute at that time we lived there had a population one quarter of which was of Italian heritage. Ricotta was no where to be found in the town supermarkets or smaller groceries. The locals made lasagne (plural) with cottage cheese (yuk!). One had to go to the town of Clinton, a hop, skip and a jump north of Terre Haute, to buy Italian products ordered in advance. The products were imported from Chicago or St. Louis.
I doubt that my wife would ever want to eat Bolito Misto again.
Oddly enough Ann Page pasta was made in Terre Haute. Ann Page being A & P's house label.
The way the gourmet dining club worked at Indiana State was each member couple hosted a meal with 3 other member couples as guests. The menu at each home was the same thruout the membership on a given date. The host couple prepared the main course, and the guest couples brought the side dishes and desserts. Most of the meals at other times were fairly good. One in particular was Coq au vin was excellent, and it was prepared in Paris...in Illinois.
I'll agree with JungMann that most cultures have a version of boiled dinner. I think your upbringing will steer you on your likes or dislikes - one man's treasured dish might be another man's waste of time.
Our boiled dinner usually features pork; pigs feet, pickled pig tail, and sometimes side ribs. FWIT, we boil the tails seperately, changing the water 2-3 times to get rid of the salt. The hocks are boiled along with the ribs and when they're done, vegetables are added to the pot (cooked in the broth). Usually cabbage, potatoes, carrots, turnip, and flat pole-beans. Sometimes a dumpling dough is made and they're steamed on top of the veggies.
The meats are put on one platter and the veggies on another and served.
This can hardly be compared to an Italian boiled dinner, but its what we do.
I will have to try the Bollito Misto - it looks interesting. We have made other types such as pot au feu, homemade corned beef&cabbage, and a fav, choucroute.