Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beef Broth (Pot-au-Feu)

From "Easy French Cookery", by Auguste Mario "Late of the Carlton, Cecil Cafe Royal and Criterion", 1910.

This soup is one that finds most favour with the bourgeoise, or French housewife, forming, as it does, a most nourishing and sustaining food. It is at the same time very economical, as the meat utilised is afterwards served as a dish, with the vegetables arranged around, or is converted into Beef Salad.

The beef most suitable is the hindquarter or shoulder, which should be boned and bound together with string ; the bones can also be boiled at the same time. Put the meat in an earthenware or enamelled saucepan, add some chicken giblets and the bones of the meat, cold water, and rough, ordinary salt.

Place the saucepan on the fire and allow to boil, skimming off the fat as it rises. As soon as the water boils, add a glass of cold water and continue to skim off the fat; when it has boiled again, withdraw to edge of fire and allow to simmer for four or five hours with the lid partly tilted. After it has simmered for two and a
half hours, add carrots, leeks, and, finally, some chervil; plenty of vegetables should be used, and they should be quite fresh, as the parts that are not dissolved in the soup will be afterwards served with the beef.

Remove the beef from the soup, place it on a hot dish, and arrange some carrots and leeks round the meat; keep warm by the side of the fire, and serve later on with a separate dish of boiled potatoes and a remoulade sauce.

Cut a few of the vegetables into thin slices and place in the bottom of the soup tureen; pass the soup either through a fine sieve or a coarse linen cloth into a basin; add three or four drops of essence of caramel to clarify it, pour into tureen, and serve very hot.

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