Vegetables. For some people this is a four-letter four word. People just don’t like them. In part, it may be that many veggies include a component of bitter flavor and our genes are programmed to avoid bitter things. They can be poisonous. But carrots? Sweet carrots? They surely cannot cause harm.

Veggies can, in fact, be elegant. Decisively elegant. From Bistro by Alain Duccase comes this rich, decisive recipe. Yes, it has a lot of ingredients. Yes, it’s going to take an hour of prep and almost five hours of cooking. This is why God made wine. Please, consider and even try. You will lead a better life.


Country Style Vegetables Poached in Beef Broth and Seasoned with Aged Vinegar

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

Beef Broth:

  • 3 pounds 4 ounces beef plate [forequarter cut from the belly of the cow]
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 leek
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 marrow bone
  • Coarse gray sea salt
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni

Veggies:

  • 2 savoy cabbage leaves
  • 4 medium carrots, with greens
  • 4 golden ball turnips
  • 4 purple-top white globe turnips
  • 4 celery hearts
  • 4 pencil-thin leeks
  • 7 ounces celeriac (about 1 medium)

Finishing:

  • Coarsely ground pepper
  • Fleur de sel
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon aged red wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

 Preparation:

Make the beef broth:

Completely defat the meat. Peel the carrot and celery. Split the leek lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Peel and halve the onions lengthwise and char them in a skillet or frying pan.

Blanch the meat for 5 minutes in boiling water, then rinse in clean water. Put the meat, marrow bone, gray sea salt, carrot, celery, leek, charred onions, peppercorns, and bouquet garni in a stockpot. Place a piece of parchment paper cut to size over the ingredients to ensure that they remain completely immersed and cover with water. Simmer for 4 hours. Filter the broth, one ladle at a time, through a conical strainer (sieve) into a saucepan, then set aside.

Make the veggies:

Remove the thick central rib of the cabbage leaves and cut the leaves into large triangles. Peel and turn the carrots and turnips, leaving their greens intact. Halve the celery hearts lengthwise. Thoroughly wash the leeks to remove all grit, and trim them to keep only one third of the green parts. Peel the celeriac. Cut out a 1 ¼ inch-thick slice and cut this into triangles with 2-inch sides.

Bring the beef broth to a boil in a saucepan and poach each vegetable separately. Prick with a knife tip to check for doneness: They should be very tender. Shock quickly in ice water, then set aside.

Finish the dish:

Reduce the broth and season it well with coarsely ground pepper and fleur des el. Reheat all of the vegetables in it. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl. Season the reduced broth with the vinegar and oil. Dress the vegetables with the beef broth vinaigrette.


Source: Bistro by Alain Ducasse [Rizzoli, 2018]