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Boiled beef fricassee. Sunday at Aunt Casilda’s

My grandmother Marcella was born in the ’20s in the countryside of Colle Val d’Elsa, not far from Siena. She never moved, and she is still living in the same house where she was born. The same can be said for my father, who moved into the old stables when he married my mum. The same can be said for me, as I am now living in the house where both my grandmother and my father were born.

When my grandmother was young, three generations used to live together: there was her grandfather Tommaso – such a modern and up-to-date man, the first one who built an inner bathroom in the house in the whole village -, then Pietro, Tommaso’s son and grandma’s father, then grandma Marcella, the only child, and a girl, indeed!

My great-grandfather Piero had two brothers, Dante and Giuseppe, known as Bebbe. I’ve met Uncle Beppe when I was a child: he lived for more than 90 years with perfect health and clearness of mind, he drove his own car and at that time he lived alone in Colle Val d’Elsa. The secret of his long and great life? A teaspoon of mashed garlic stirred into his caffellatte each and every morning!

Boiled beef fricassee

Uncle Beppe had married Casilde. They didn’t have children, so they elected my grandmother Marcella as their favourite niece. They used to drive to grandma’s house in the countryside and take her to their home. They lived in town, it was such an excitement for her! Then, my great-grandfather Piero would go to town to bring his daughter back home in the countryside… they kept on moving forth and back until grandma Marcella married my grandfather Biagio.

Grandma has always loved living in Colle Val d’Elsa: lots of people to talk with, strolls along the main road, friends, the oratory.. and, most of all, the cinema! Uncle Beppe was the cinema keeper of the Dei Varii Theatre. He would sit at the ticket office with his little dog, all spruced up for the occasion. 

Boiled beef fricassee

Boiled beef fricassee

The main course at Aunt Casilde’s house was always lesso in fricassea, boiled beef fricassee.

It used to be a Sunday dish, not an everyday recipe! The boiled beef was the result of the clear soup they used to have for lunch with some pasta. If you had leftover beef, you could cook the meat with tomato sauce and potatoes or you could make a filling dish with eggs. Grandma used to love the latter.

This is another recipe – along with the francesina, the Florentine leftover beef cooked with onions, and meatballs, that would give a second life to boiled beef: so juicy and tender when it is just removed from the pot of steaming broth, so stringy and hard once cooled down. 

Boiled beef fricassee
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Boiled beef fricassee

Course Main
Cuisine Tuscan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Giulia

Ingredients

  • 400 g of leftover boiled beef
  • 50 g of flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A dash of milk or cream
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet with a garlic clove. In the meantime, slice the leftover boiled beef into strips and dust them with flour.
  • When the olive oil is hot, add the meat into the pan and brown on both sides until golden.
  • Whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and black pepper and a dash of milk - when I want to indulge myself I use fresh cream. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and stir until you get a texture similar to scrambled eggs.
  • Serve warm, with a slice of fresh Tuscan bread.
Tried this recipe?We love to see your creations! Snap a pic and tag @julskitchen and hashtag it #myseasonaltable!

 

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This Post Has 16 Comments
  1. meravigliosa anche questa ricetta!!!!
    mai visto e mai assaggiato!davvero interessante, nn vedo l'ora di provarla!!
    la terrina è bellissima!!
    premio per te!
    baci

  2. Mi piacciono tantissimo queste ricette che conservano tutto il sapore di altri tempi! e questo modo di preparare il lesso è fantastico
    Un bacione
    fra

  3. @ Laura: grazie carissima!

    @ Babs: che carina la mia twin!

    @ Chiara: grazie, corro!! sono contenta di aver presentato qualcosa di nuovo, è bello presentare le particolerità del nostro territorio!

    @ Micaela: e viva le nonne. e in questo caso anche la prozia!

    @ Fra: uno non sa mai quello che può tirar fuori dagli avanzi, vero?

  4. Non la conoscevo questa ricetta ma mi piace moltissimo il fatto di usare le buone ricette collaudate dalle nonne! Sarei proprio curiosa di provarla!

  5. Anche questa mi mancava!!!insomma da toscana faccio proprio una figuraccia…vabbè non appena torna il freddo lo proviamo e rimediamo subito alla lacuna!!Un bacione Giulietta cara!

  6. Sai, mia cara, che leggere queste memorie in inglese mi fa pensare al libro di una qualche statunitense in visita in Italia, che descrive la realtà della nostra provincia ai lettori suoi connazionali, molto più civili e moderni… sicuramente fai sembrare la nostra Toscana, con la sua cucina robusta e schietta, molto molto romantica…

  7. @ Elisa: collaudata, testata, provata e.. digerita! =P

    @ Nicole: vabeh.. sei donna di confino! =P un bacione carissima!

    @ Onde: ti ringrazio per le tue parole! in effetti è la stessa sensazione che mi dà ascoltare mia nonna, racconti che una volta erano realtà ma che adesso sembrano quasi storie della buonanotte! quelli sulla guerra – quando il fronte è passato proprio da noi – sono i più belli!

  8. ciao juls che buoni i sapori di un tempo….i sapori e i piatti dele nonne sono sempre incomparabili!!vado su mik a leggere il resto!!baci imma
    p.s. dabato ci sarà anche una mia ricetta su mik;-)

  9. Mi è piaciuto moltissimo come hai raccontato questa ricetta, i personaggi della tua famiglia mi sembra quasi di vederli… brava brava brava.
    Baci,
    m.

  10. Meraviglioso il lesso e la storia della casa… Dalle mie parti si fa anche con il pollo… che buono… mmmmm
    Un bacione
    Pati

  11. signorina, io ti ospito nella casa giallo limone a lisbona e tu mi fai la pappa, che dici???

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