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Mixed grill as done in Venice, Italy.

Typically thought of as British fare, a mixed grill is interpreted in a variety of ways around the world. We discovered this grand veersion in Venice.

Venetians choose small cuts of meat that cook quickly over hot coals: tiny lamb and veal chops, thin beef skirt steak, partially cooked Italian sausage, a thick slice of calf's liver, and boned, pounded chicken thighs. Polenta to grill along with tomatoes affirms the Italian touch.

The menu serves 4 generously; cut larger pieces of meat--the sausages, chicken, liver, and steak--into portions so guests can enjoy a bit of everything, or simply pick and choose. You'll need a large barbecue to grill all the meats shown; with a smaller barbecue, eliminate one or two of the meats, or cook them in sequence and keep warm until all are cooked.

Venetain Mixed Grill 1/4 cup chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as rosemary, tarragon, thyme, and oregano leaves 1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed 1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil 2 mild italian sausages (about 1/2 lb.) Water 2 chicken thighs (about 2/3 lb.), skinned and boned 1 slice calf's liver, 3/4 to 1 pound, cut about 1-1/2 inches thick 1 beef skirt steak, about 3/4 pound; trim off excess fat 4 lamb rib chops (about 1 lb.), cut 1 inch thick 4 veal rib chops with kidneys (about 1-1/4 lbs.), cut 3/4 inch thick 2 or 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes Rosemary polenta (recipe follows) Fresh herb sprigs, optional

Mix together chopped herbs, garlic, and oil. Cover and set aside at least 1 hour.

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, simmer sausages in 1 inch of water, uncovered, for 5 minutes; turn several times. Drain and set aside.

Place each chicken thigh between pieces of plastic wrap; pound with a flat mallet until an even thickness. Cut out and discard any tubes and membrane from liver. Cut skirt steak in half crosswise. Set chicken, liver, steak, lamb chops, and veal chops aside.

Core tomatoes and cut in half crosswise. Cut polenta into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick slices. Set tomatoes and polenta aside.

Ignite about 70 charcoal briquets and allow to burn until completely covered with a gray ash, about 30 minutes. Spread briquets out in a solid layer.

Meanwhile, brush one side of each piece of meat (except sausages) with some of the herbed oil. Place sausages near outside edge of grill, then arrange lamb chops, veal chops, and liver, herb side down, on center of grill (where it's hottest). Cook meats until well browned on one side, aboiut 7 minutes, then turn and brush with herbed oil.

At the same time, lay beef and chicken, herb side down, on center of grill alongside liver. Also arrange tomatoes (cut side down) and polenta on a cooler area at the edge of grill.

Cook, turning beef and chicken when browned, tomatoes and polenta when hot; brush with remaining herbed oil. Continue to cook until chicken is browned and not pink in center (cut to test); the beef, liver, lamb, and veal should be browned but slightly pink in center (cut to test). This will take 5 to 7 minutes more.

Lift meats, tomatoes, and polenta off grill and arrange attractively on a large serving platter. If desired, garnish with fresh herb sprigs. Serve hot, cutting sausage, beef, liver, and chicken into at least 4 pieces each. Makes 4 generous servings.

Rosemary polenta. In a 4- to 5-quart pan, bring 3 cups water to boiling over high heat. Meanwhile, stir together 1-1/2 cups each polenta (Italian-style cornmeal) and water.

Using a long-handled spoon, gradually stir polenta into boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes (it splatters). Remove from heat. Mix in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dry rosemary) and salt to taste. Spread evenly in a 4-1/2- by 8-1/2-inch loaf pan. Let cool; or cover and chill up to 3 days. Turn polenta out of pan to cut.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:May 1, 1985
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