Italian Boiled Beef with Parsley, Tomato & Anchovy Dipping Sauces

There are many different versions of slow cooker boiled beef with vegetables and dips. There is the classic French Pot-au-feu, there is the Austrian Tafelspitz, or there is this Italian version with 2 wonderful dipping sauces made with tomato, parsley, and anchovies.

The dipping sauces are called bagnet vert, which means green dip, and bagnet rouss, which means red dip. This is actually not Italian, but Piemontese, the language of Piemont in Northern Italy (this is where my Italian family was from).

This makes a wonderful winter dish, full of flavors, and very healthy as long as you can get your hands on properly raised (grass-fed) beef: gelatinous cuts of beef, good animal fat, herbs, and omega-3 fatty acids from the anchovy.

I like to serve this dish with potatoes and carrots cooked in some beef stock.


Serves 4 – Total time 2h30 to 3h30 (slow cooker)
2.2 lb (1kg) beef brisket or plate
1 onion
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 bay leaves
5 cloves
5 juniper berries
5 grains black pepper
5 pints (2.5l) water
For herbs and anchovy dipping sauce:
1 large bunch parsley
1 egg
1 clove garlic
extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
5 anchovy fillets
about 1 tbsp beef stock
1 slice of bread (optional)
For tomato and anchovy dipping sauce:
about 2 tbsp tomato sauce
5 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon capers
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
about 1 tbsp beef stock
1 slice of bread (optional)

The beef should be of high quality, naturally raised (grass-fed). This is because we will eat the fat, and it should therefore not be loaded with chemicals and toxins like the fat of commercial beef. Here is what it would look like:


Wash and clean the vegetables, chop the carrot and celery, and poke the cloves into the whole onion. Place these vegetables in a pot with the water and bring to a boil.

Add the meat, bring to a boil again, and remove the scum with a slotted spoon. Add the juniper berries and the pepper, reduce heat and simmer for at least 2 hours; 3 hours is best.

Make the green sauce: crush together garlic, anchovies and capers. Finely chop the parsley. Place these ingredients in a bowl, and add a little beef stock, the bread (if using) and the beaten egg. Mix well and add the parsley. You can use a food processor to make the sauce, but don’t mix until you get an homogeneous texture, stop just before.
Now add some olive oil, to taste, until the sauce gets smooth.

Make the red sauce, using the same method.

When the beef is ready, cut it into slices and serve with the dipping sauces.

If you serve the beef with potatoes and carrots, boil them in some beef stock while the beef finished cooking (during the last 30 minutes of cooking).

Enjoy this wonderful Mediterraneam slow cooker!



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