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Provenšal pot au feu

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January 16, 2008

Serves 4

MEAT AND VEGETABLES

1 1/2 pounds beef short ribs
1 1/2 pounds beef shank or beef chuck
1 lamb shank
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 6 parsley stems, 2 sprigs thyme wrapped in a small piece of a leek, tied with a string)
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
5 whole peppercorns
4 cloves garlic, wrapped in cheesecloth
1 onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves
4 carrots, peeled
4 turnips, peeled and halved
1 small celeriac, peeled and diced
4 small leeks, white and green parts only, halved lengthwise and tied with a string
4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut in halves
4 beef marrow bones, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with a string

1. Using kitchen twine, tie the pieces of beef ribs, beef shank, and lamb shank separately so they don't fall apart during cooking. Arrange them in the bottom of a large stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring the water slowly to a gentle boil (this might take about 1 hour). When the water is almost boiling, use a slotted spoon to skim the surface, discarding the foam that forms.

2. Add the wine, bouquet garni, salt, peppercorns, garlic, and onion. Simmer, uncovered, skimming the surface regularly, for 2 1/2 hours.

3. Add the carrots, turnips, celeriac, leeks, and potatoes. Continue cooking for 30 minutes.

4. Add the marrow bones and simmer for 15 minutes more.

5. Lift the meat and vegetables from the liquid and transfer to a large container. Discard the bouquet garni, onion, and garlic cloves. Unwrap the marrow bones. Tip the broth into another container. Let both cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.

6. Skim off and discard the fat from the broth. Ladle the broth into a large pot. Cut the meat off the lamb shank. Return all the meats, bones, and vegetables to the broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture is hot.

TO SERVE

1 baguette, thinly sliced and toasted
Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt, to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup prepared white horseradish
1 cup cornichon or other small pickles

1. Spread the marrow on the pieces of toast and sprinkle with salt. Arrange on a platter.

2. Ladle the broth into individual bowls and serve with the marrow toasts.

3. Serve the meats and vegetables on a large platter as another course with mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, and pickles. - Béatrice Peltre

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