Beef a la mode (pot roast)

(Recipe #9, pages 76 – 77)

Take an 8–10 pound piece of bottom round or of silverside from a steer, pound it, and rub it is salt, pepper, and allspice. Heat 2–3 ounces of suet prepared as in I, no. 54 in a pot; when it is hot, dredge the meat with a tablespoon of flour and put it in the pot; occasionally pushing it back and forth without piercing it, cook it until it is well browned on all sides.

Now pour enough boiling water alongside the meat to cover it half way and quickly cover the pot tightly and weight the cover with two weights; braise the meat slowly. After 1½ hours, turn the meat over and add a cup of diced pickles (preserved or fresh) along with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 4 bay leaves; cover the meat once more and braise it slowly until tender, which usually takes 2–2½ hours. Then set the meat out, skim most of the fat from the gravy, stir in some water if the it is too thick or a little cornstarch if it is too thin, put a few spoonfuls of this smooth gravy over the meat and pass the rest. If beef a la mode is served as a starter, truffles, mushrooms, and chestnuts may be served with it; otherwise it may be served with various vegetables, ideally with potatoes. In that case, part of the fat should be left in the sauce.

Note: If no pickles are available, a few lemon slices can be added instead.

Translated by David Green.

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