Mixed Grill as Done in Venice, Italy

Article excerpt

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. …