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Lesso rifatto. Italian’s leftover beef recipe

Lesso rifatto. Italian's leftover beef recipe

Do you know lesso rifatto a la Italiana recipe?

The stock pot is very special.
Whatever comes out of there is always delicious.

Lesso rifatto. Italian's leftover beef recipe

The broth: a recipe to make all year round

At home, the broth was both a winter and summer preparation. It was the most significant Saturday morning activity. That way, it was ready for Sunday lunch.

My olfactive memory associates its scent with weekends, holidays, my idea of home and table, and Grandma Sara.

The preparation of the pot is a ritual that makes me happy. Little by little, a scent spreads from the kitchen through the home. It is an embrace of love ignites my soul.

Still today, I prepare the traditional broth recipe of the Emilia-Romagna (beef, bones, and chicken); only chicken, or capon -the broth of the holidays. Like my grandmother, I also make vegetable stock, but I admit, it has never kindled my appetite like the others.

Pot’s memories

I go into the kitchen for breakfast. I sense a fragrant suspicion even though nothing betrays the presence of the stock pot. In summer, Grandma gets to work early in the morning, and the windows are wide open.

In winter, everything changes. The fragrant molecules of broth bid me good morning by tickling my nose. The idea of the aromatic warmth I will find in the kitchen prompts me to leave the warm comfort of the bed.
I put on my slippers and robe, walk down the long corridor in the half-light, past a glass door, and follow the smell of broth to the closed threshold of the kitchen.

I open the door. Once inside, a warm, fragrant cloud envelops me. I don’t need to close my eyes to see the fogged glass again. The table clutters with tools and ingredients. In front of me is the large pot of broth. In my child’s head, who reads so many books and believes anything is possible, grows the idea broth speaks to those who know and want to listen. Since then, its quiet mumbling has been a cherished companion.

The broth pot

I start with the meat, a chicken leg, a piece of double-muscled and a bone or two to give flavor, then the meat that will become the boiled (or boiled) meat. I usually choose brisket or beef shank and a priest’s hat if the occasion is special.

Then I add a whole onion without the skin, a stalk of celery that I break in half with the leaf, and a whole carrot. I cover it with cold water and add a pinch of coarse salt, as for cooking pasta. Usually, I prefer to taste and adjust the salt, if needed, at the end of cooking and after I have cleaned the broth.

I place the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. I lower the heat to low, almost completely cover the pot with a lid, and let the broth begins to sing slowly, spreading waves of fragrant joy.

What is the difference between lesso or bollito meat?
It depends on the cooking. If you put all the ingredients in the pot and cover them with cold water, you will have boiled meat (that is bollito from the Italian verb bollire). If you add the meat when the water is hot, lesso (from the verb lessare) will come out of your stock. Similar flavors, slightly different texture: boiled meat crumbles more easily.

On the blog, you will find the recipe for meat broth according to tradition and a guide to preparing the pot, resting, and cleaning the broth.

Lesso rifatto. Italian’s leftover beef recipe

The dish I am presenting to you is lesso rifatto a la Italiana, which, as Artusi wrote, is meat cooked in broth, cut into slices, and cooked in tomato sauce with the soffritto (onion, carrot, and celery). I don’t remember if the gastronome also indicated using a bay leaf, Grandma used to put it, and it is worth it.

Preparation is quick and easy. After thinly slicing the boiled meat, cook it with salsa, bay leaf, and soffritto. After brief cooking, serve the dish with bread and a side dish. A seasonal salad, mashed potatoes, or sweet and sour spring onions work very well as sides.

Buona cucina, Monica

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Lesso rifatto. Italian's leftover beef recipe

Lesso rifatto. Italian’s leftover beef recipe

serves 4
List of the Ingredients

boiled meat, 600 g
carrot, 1
one onion, small
white stalk celery , 1
salsa di pomodoro, 400g
glass of water, 1
bay leaves, 3


When cold, cut the piece of boiled meat into thin slices.

Wash celery and carrot, remove the skin from the onion, and, keeping them separate, finely chop each vegetable.

In a large skillet, melt a knob of butter with olive oil, add the onion and cook over a gentle flame for a few minutes before adding the carrot and celery.

Sauté for a few minutes before adding bay leaf, tomato sauce, salt, and water.

Stir, cook the sauce for a few minutes, and add the slices of boiled meat.
After a couple of minutes, turn them over, and continue cooking for another five minutes.

The lesso rifatto is ready.

Lesso rifatto. Italian's leftover beef recipe

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