Ingredients: 1.2 kg of "paletta" (muscle of the front leg of beef), celery, carrot, onion.
To prepare: Choose a pan that is the right size for the piece of meat.
Fill the pan with cold water (the rule for good boiled meat), add a stalk of celery, a large carrot and a small onion; bring to the boil. Then add the meat, making sure that the water covers it, and boil over medium heat.
Allow the meat to cool in its stock. When it is time to serve, carve into ½ inch slices and lay them in a shallow roasting pan, covering with the stock. Reheat before serving and serve seasoned with only good-quality sea salt.
I have rediscovered how good this boiled meat is with Pearà Sauce and "mostarda" (traditional Italian candied fruit in a spicy, sweet syrup).
Pearà Sauce (which means "pepper sauce" because of the generous amount of pepper added) is part of traditional Veneto cuisine, especially in the Verona area.
Legend has it that, in the early 15th century in a town near Verona, a bandit named Gelmino attacked a caravan coming from Venice, stealing some sacks that were well-packed and -sealed. He was convinced that he had stolen silk or precious metals. However, when he opened the sacks, he realized that they contained only round, grey-colored seeds that burned the tongue when bitten into. It was pepper, on its way to merchants on the other side of the Alps. Gelmino, furious, jettisoned the sacks in the squares of the towns he passed through as he fled. Curiosity drove the local inhabitants to try their content. They realized that it was pepper, a precious commodity already in use in small amounts to preserve food.
Having available such an abundant amount of pepper, and convinced that it had purificatory properties for the stomach and brain, they decided to add it to their “bread porridge“, a poor man's dish of the day.
This is my recipe for Pearà Sauce.
Ingredients: 100 gr of unseasoned bread crumbs, preferably home-style, beef broth, 1 teaspoon of ground pepper, 3 tablespoons of Moletto Extra-virgin olive oil Integrale.
To prepare: In a non-stick saucepan, add the bread crumbs, cover with broth and boil on low heat for an hour or more. If the sauce thickens too much during cooking, add more broth. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the extra-virgin olive oil and coarsely-ground pepper. Serve piping hot with the boiled beef.
Raboso Doc Piave