Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Simple poached beef, Italy-style
( Il lesso casalingo )

Authentic Italian recipes

A good homemade simple poached beef is obtained by placing a large piece of meat directly into cold water with some vegetables: carrots, celery and onion. The cooking is slow, on low heat. Choose the meat among chuck and blade or brisket. You can add breast of veal too.

difficulty: easy

time: 3 hours

calories: 285 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 1kg (2.2 pounds) boned beef, in a piece with no visible fat
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 medium size onion, peeled
  • 1 stick of celery, cleaned
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 10 minutes
cooking: about 3 hours
total: 3 hours
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 285 (kcal) 15 % - 1192 (kJ)
Protein: 32.8 (g) 66 % GDA
Total fat: 17.0 (g) 25 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 0.0 (g)
Sugars: 0.0 (g)

Download free PDF version (204 download).

Simple poached beef recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Put all the vegetables together with the meat in a large pan.
  • - Cover with cold water, season to taste with salt and bring to the boil over high heat.
  • - When the water begins boiling, lower the flame and continue cooking, half-covered, until the meat is tender.
  • - Add hot water only if necessary.

Just before cooking

  • - Serve poached beef hot. Olive oil and vinegar cruets will be at table together with gravy boats full of suitable sauces. So everyone will be able to serve himself according to his own taste. Read more below on "menu planning".



  • - Making poached beef you can also add a bone to the other ingredients.
  • - On the contrary if you want to prepare a good-quality boiled meat you have to put in a large pan some vegetables (carrots, onions, celery ...) and bring to the boil. At this point you have to add the meat (boneless breast of veal, beef tenderloin, calf's head ... according to the recipe) and simmer until tender.

Menu planning

  • - The simplest way to serve poached beef is with olive oil and vinegar.
  • - But you can serve poached beef with different sauces too. In Italy we are used to accompany poached beef with parsley sauce (green sauce) or tomato sauce, Piedmont style. Looking for new tastes? test poached beef with mostarda d'uva (grape chutney) or other chutney recipes. Someone prefer mustard simplier. All suggested recipes are linked below!
  • - And about side dishes? Potatoes are fantastic, carrots too ... and don't forget sauerkraut. Anyway every seasonal boiled vegetables is good!
  • - Generally poached beef is a main dish for you family menu but in Italy we have the habit to serve it for Christmas lunch or dinner.

Useful links to this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - I calculated the nutrition facts of simple poached beef without the sauces and side dishes that accompany it noowadays. Unless you want to overcome these calories you'd eat the poched beef only with vinegar as we were used to do in the past. In this case it is a recipe for the Mediterranean diet ;))
  • - Another clarification. Keep in mind that 1 kg of meat should be enough for 6 people. If only 4 people eat it, as it often happens, here are the results!
    Calories: 428 kcal
    Protein: 49,3g
    Fat: 25,5g
  • - This beef dish has no fiber.


What's the right wine for " Simple poached beef, Italy-style "?

Pair Barbera d'Asti (red wine from Piedmont - Italy) to simple poached beef.